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July 30: Day by Day with Father Bill

MEMORIAL OF BLESSED FATHER SOLANUS CASEY, Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin

On Saturday, November 18, 2017, Father Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan, was beatified before over 70,000 people at Soldiers Field, just outside of Detroit. Father Casey is the second American-born male to be beatified. I recall that Father Stanley Rother, a native of Oklahoma, was beatified in September of 2017, as the Church lifted up his holy ministry among the poor of Guatemala.

Father Casey grew up in Oak Grove, Wisconsin, in the 1870’s, struggled mightily in the seminary in Milwaukee, until the faculty encouraged him to consider a religious order. He was received by the Order of Friars Minor and served primarily as the doorkeeper/receptionist at St Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit from the early 1920’s through the 1940’s. He also was instrumental in founding the Soup Kitchen there.

In the homily for his beatification, Cardinal Amato recounted that during the Great Depression of 1929, “there was no more bread and there was a long line of more than 200 people waiting for something to eat. Father Solanus approached and began to recite the Our Father. A little bit later knocking was heard at the door and the baker appeared with a large basket full of bread. He had also brought a truckload of God’s gifts. When the people saw this, they began to cry with emotion. Father Solanus simply stated, See God provides. No one will suffer want if we put our trust in Divine Providence.”

By the way, his fellow priests and brothers would cringe when Blessed Father Solanus played his violin. Father chose the chapel on Sunday evenings to play before the Lord. The Lord tolerated his poor playing better than did his brothers!

Blessed Father Solanus Casey, OFM Capuchin, pray for us during this time of the pandemic! Be close to those who are sick and those who care for the sick! Bring them to Jesus, our Divine Doctor!

Father Bill +

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