Author: Fr Joseph Esper
A major event in the history of the Archdiocese of Detroit will occur in two weeks: Venerable Solanus Casey will be beatified, or given the title “Blessed”—the final step before possibly being declared a saint.
Even though he grew up in Wisconsin, Detroiters have always considered him “ours” due to the numerous years he spent here, and the many amazing healings and other miracles that occurred through his prayers and intercession. Because of his loving and outgoing nature, Father Solanus was extremely popular at his assignments in New York, Indiana, and especially in Detroit. However, his path to holiness was not an easy one. As a young man, Barney Casey—the name he was given at birth—was very prayerful and spiritual. After several different jobs—including as a prison guard, during which he made friends with many of the convicts—he decided God was calling him to the priesthood. At the age of twenty- six he entered the local diocesan seminary in Milwaukee, but because of his academic failures, was dismissed. Barney made a novena for guidance, and heard a voice from Heaven telling him “Go to Detroit.” Doing so, he enrolled in the Capuchin seminary.
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