Detroit Catholics at ‘fever pitch’ over beatification of Father Casey

By Catholic News Service
Thursday, November 9, 2017

DETROIT — For decades during the Great Depression and afterward, Capuchin Franciscan Father Solanus Casey was the “go-to” guy for those who were sick, poor, afflicted or discouraged in their faith. 

Standing at the doors of St. Bonaventure Monastery on Detroit’s east side, the holy friar would welcome dozens — if not hundreds — of visitors per day: families with an ill child, destitute fathers desperate to make ends meet, loved ones distraught over a relative’s drifting from the faith. 

And no matter the situation —whether a healing was imminent or not — he would tell them the same thing: “Thank God ahead of time.” 

Now that Father Solanus is set to be beatified Nov. 18 at Detroit’s Ford Field, home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions, the entire city is heeding his advice. 

“I think excitement is at a fever pitch. Everybody is so enthused about it. I get people asking me about the occasion all the time,” said Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron in an interview with the Michigan Catholic, the archdiocesan newspaper. “The quick way the tickets were all assigned is a strong sense of the enthusiasm of the whole community.”

Indeed, it took just hours for the 66,000-seat Ford Field to “sell out” for the historic Mass — though the tickets were free — with eager Detroiters snapping up the chance to be in attendance to thank God for the gift of the friar’s extraordinary life and intercession.