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Solanus Casey

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Father Solanus Casey
Born November 25, 1870(1870-11-25)
Oak Grove, Wisconsin
Died July 31, 1957 (aged 86)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality U.S.
Education St. Francis High School Seminary and the Capuchin School of Theology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Occupation Priest, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
Title Father
Website
http://www.solanuscasey.org/

Bernard Francis Casey (November 25, 1870 – July 31, 1957) was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin.[1][2] A Capuchin priest, Casey was known for his great faith, humility, and role as spiritual counselor and intercessor. The first United States-born man formally to be declared "Venerable" by the Roman Catholic church, Casey is a candidate now for beatification.

Early life

The sixth of sixteen children of Irish immigrant parents,[3] he contracted diphtheria in his youth which permanently damaged his voice, leaving it wispy.[4] "Barney" left the farm to work in a series of jobs in his home state and Minnesota, as a lumberjack, hospital orderly, a prison guard in the Minnesota state penitentiary, and a street car operator.

He attended St. Francis High School Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 21, initially hoping to become a diocesan priest. Five years later, though, he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, a Roman Catholic religious order for men. He took the name "Solanus" after St. Francis Solanus, a 17th century Spanish nobleman, intellectual, missionary and preacher.[3]

Priesthood

Casey struggled through seminary largely due to the fact that most of his classes were conducted in the German language, which he had not previously studied. On July 24, 1904, at the age of 33, Solanus Casey was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood by Archbishop Sebastian Messmer at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee.[5] Because he was judged to have performed insufficiently well in his seminary studies, Casey was ordained a "sacerdotus simplex," a priesthood rank that prevented him from hearing confessions or preaching doctrinal sermons.[6]

After his ordination, Casey served for 20 years in a succession of assignments in Capuchin friaries in New York, Harlem, and Yonkers.[7] In 1924, he was transferred to St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, where he worked for a further 21 years. During this time, Casey served primarily as "porter", or receptionist and doorkeeper. He became known, though, for his great compassion and the amazing results of his consultations with visitors.[4]

Death and legacy

Father Casey died on On July 31, 1957, in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 86.[8] His last words reportedly were: "I give my soul to Jesus Christ."[4] An estimated 20,000 people passed by his coffin prior to his burial in the cemetery at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, Michigan.[9]

On July 8, 1987, Father Solanus Casey's incorrupt body was exhumed and subsequently reinterred inside the Father Solanus Casey Center at the St. Bonaventure Monastery.[10]

Solanus Casey's cause for sainthood was opened in 1982. In 1995, Pope John Paul II declared Father Casey to be venerable,[10] the first step in the path to sainthood. Many miraculous cures have been associated with Father Solanus's intercession, both when he was alive and after his death.[11] Pilgrims from around the world continue to make pilgrimages to the tomb of Father Solanus Casey.

See also

Notes

  1. http://www.thecapuchins.org/news/documents/LaCrosse.pdf
  2. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/dictionary/index.asp?action=view&term_id=14948&search_term=casey
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vivian M. Baulch, "Father Solanus Casey and his 'favors,'" The Detroit News Review Mirror, 1996
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Diane Morey Hanson, "The 'Holy Doorman' of St. Bonaventure's," The Word Among Us, 2006
  5. Joan King, "Once a struggling seminarian, Capuchin’s on road to sainthood," Milwaukee Catholic Herald, July 22, 2004 http://www.chnonline.org/2004/2004-07-22/newsstory2.html; Maryangela Layman Román, "Shorewood woman blessed by saintly friar: Credits Solanus Casey with helping her overcome eye ailment," Milwaukee Catholic Herald, July 26, 2007 http://www.chnonline.org/2007/2007-07-26/newsstory2.html
  6. Br. Nikola Derpich, L.C., "Venerable Solanus Casey, OFM: Apostle of Thanksgiving," Shorelines, February 17, 2003 http://www.vocation.com/bulletin_backissue-37669.htm
  7. Father Solanus Guild, "Cause of Venerable Solanus Casey," http://www.solanuscasey.org/about.shtml
  8. Friar Jack Wintz, O.F.M., "Father Solanus Casey: Will He Be Beatified Soon? (Part I)," AmericanCatholic.org, February 28, 2007.
  9. "Venerable Solanus Casey," Saint of the Day, AmericanCatholic.org.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Father Solanus Guild, "Cause of Venerable Solanus Casey," http://www.solanuscasey.org/canonization.shtml
  11. Diane Morey Hanson, "The 'Holy Doorman' of St. Bonaventure's," The Word Among Us, 2006

Bibliography

  • Vivian M. Baulch, "Father Solanus Casey and his 'favors,'" The Detroit News Review Mirror, 1996.
  • Sr. Bernadine Casey, ed., Letters from Solanus Casey, Father Solanus Guild, 2000.
  • Michael Crosby, ed., Solanus Casey: The Official Account of a Virtuous American Life, Crossroad Classic, 2000.
  • Br. Nikola Derpich, L.C., "Venerable Solanus Casey, OFM: Apostle of Thanksgiving," Shorelines, February 17, 2003.
  • James Patrick Derum, The Porter of Saint Bonaventure's, The Fidelity Press Detroit, 1997.
  • Diane Morey Hanson, "The 'Holy Doorman' of St. Bonaventure's," The Word Among Us, 2006.
  • Joan King, "Once a struggling seminarian, Capuchin’s on road to sainthood," Milwaukee Catholic Herald, July 22, 2004.
  • Catherine M. Odell, The Story of Father Solanus, Revised ed., Our Sunday Visitor Press, 2007.
  • Maryangela Layman Román, "Shorewood woman blessed by saintly friar: Credits Solanus Casey with helping her overcome eye ailment," Milwaukee Catholic Herald, July 26, 2007.
  • Friar Jack Wintz, O.F.M., "Father Solanus Casey: Will He Be Beatified Soon? (Part I)," AmericanCatholic.org, February 28, 2007.
  • Br. Leo Wollenweber, Meet Solanus Casey, St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2002.

External links

Stages of Canonization in the Roman Catholic Church
  Servant of God   →   Venerable   →   Blessed   →   Saint  

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