Solanus Casey Beatification: What you need to know

Beatification mass is Saturday at Ford Field

DETROIT – Thousands of Catholics are expected to come together Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 for a special beatification mass for Fr. Solanus Casey at Ford Field in Detroit. 

  • WHEN: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday -- doors open at 2 p.m.
  • WHERE: Ford Field -- 2000 Brush Street, Detroit
  • TV: Live on MeTV (channel 4.3)
  • STREAMING: Live here on ClickOnDetroit

Transportation and parking

Parishes throughout Metro Detroit and beyond will be offering shuttle and bus trips to and from Ford Field. Check with your local parish for information on transportation. 

Parking rates are expected to be between $10-$50. There are lots, garages and meters in the area. For more information on parking near Ford Field visit

What is this beatification mass for?

Capuchin Father Solanus Casey will be beatified before a crowd of at least 60,000 people. This is the final step before sainthood. Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced that the longtime friar would be elevated to the status of “Blessed.”

The Catholic Dictionary defines beatification as: 

A declaration by the Pope as head of the Church that one of the deceased faithful lived a holy life and/or died a martyr's death and is now dwelling in heaven. As a process, the beatification consists of a years-long examination of the life, virtues, writings, and reputation for holiness of the servant of God under consideration.

This is ordinarily conducted by the bishop of the place where he or she resided or died. For a martyr miracles worked through the person's intercession need not be considered in this primary process. The second, or Apostolic, process is instituted by the Holy See when the first process reveals that the servant of God practiced virtue in a heroic degree or died a martyr for the faith. Beatified persons are called "Blessed" and may be venerated by the faithful but not throughout the universal Church.

Casey's admirers have been pointing to many miracles to support sainthood for the priest who died in 1957. This recognition from Pope Francis could be a step closer to making sainthood a reality for Casey. A panel of doctors must rule out a scientific explanation for the history of healing attributed to the Capuchin priest. 

Casey was declared venerable in 1995, the first American man to have that distinction. One must be declared venerable and blessed before sainthood can be declared. Casey joined Detroit's Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in 1897 and struggled through his seminary studies before being ordained a priest in 1904 at the age of 33.

FULL COVERAGE: Father Solanus Casey Beatification Mass

About Solanus Casey

A member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph in Detroit and one of the co-founders of the city’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Father Casey was born Nov. 25, 1870 and died July 31, 1957. He will be the second American-born male to be beatified. The first is Father Stanley Rother, a North American priest who died in 1981 and was beatified on Sept. 23.

Throughout his ministry, beginning in New York for 20 years, serving at three different parishes, Casey was a beloved Capuchin Friar credited with miraculous cures and valued for his wise and compassionate counsel. He served at St. Bonaventure Monastery on Mt. Elliott Street in Detroit, where he worked for 21 years as a pastor and spent his life in the service of people, endearing himself to thousands who would seek his counsel. He earned the recognition as ‘the Doorkeeper’ -- a brother who would provide soup for the hungry, kind words for the troubled, and a healing touch for the ill.

The Detroit Capuchins continue their ministry to the poor and the sick and those in need. They operate the Solanus Casey Center, which attracts 250,000 visitors a year.

Casey co-founded the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929 and today it serves Metro Detroit by providing food, clothing and human-development programs to the people of the community. In addition to preparing and serving up to 2,000 meals a day, they have an emergency food pantry, service center and a tutoring program for children. Its Earthworks Urban Farm harvests six tons of produce from a two-and-a-half acre organic farm. The Soup Kitchen’s On the Rise Bakery assists individuals re-entering society after bouts of incarceration or substance abuse.

In addition, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Jefferson House – a 12-bed residential treatment facility -- assists indigent males seeking to reclaim their lives from addiction.

The work of the Capuchin Friars is funded primarily by donations, receiving no government assistance.

About the Father Solanus guild

The Father Solanus Guild, a Capuchin ministry, initiated the Cause of Solanus Casey for sainthood in 1966 and continues to keep alive the inspiring memory of Casey; sharing knowledge of his exemplary life, collecting information about his life and work; providing prayer, support, and offering services to the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Solanus Casey.

About the Solanus Casey Center

Inspired by the holy life of Casey, the Solanus Casey Center opened its doors in 2002 to lead visitors on a spiritual journey. Thousands come to the center each year for prayer, to nurture the spirit, and to visit Solanus’ tomb.

Solanus Casey Center special hours for the Beatification:

  • Thursday, Nov. 16: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 17: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 18: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (The center will close from 2:30-6:30 p.m. for the ceremony)
  • Sunday, Nov. 19: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Confessions will not be available on Saturday, Nov. 18. 

In 1998, the Capuchin superiors recognized a need for a more hospitable way to receive the multitude of visitors who come to the tomb of Solanus each year. The result is the beautiful and enriching Solanus Casey Center, where Casey’s tomb is now located. It also facilitates the spiritual needs of visitors, drawing them into a pilgrimage of faith that inspires in all who visit an invitation to holiness in their own lives.

The Solanus Casey Center and Father Solanus Guild are ministries of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph headquartered in Detroit, which includes Capuchin ministries worldwide.

About the Capuchins

The Capuchins are an international community of friars modeling themselves after St. Francis of Assisi.  The brothers of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, headquartered in Detroit, serve in a variety of ministries including social service, schools, chaplaincies, retreat house and parishes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Arizona, and Panama. Established at Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin in 1857, there are currently 169 members in the St. Joseph province.

About the Archdiocese of Detroit

The Roman Catholic presence in southeast Michigan dates to 1701 with the arrival of French missionaries. By 1833, the Diocese of Detroit was officially established; it was elevated to the status of an archdiocese in 1937.

Seventh largest in the United States, it administers parishes, schools, and institutions within the City of Detroit, as well as Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair, and Lapeer counties.

Served by the Rev. Allen Henry Vigneron, its 10th bishop (and fifth archbishop), the archdiocese -- its priests and people alike -- is currently and enthusiastically engaged in promulgating and promoting faith in Jesus Christ through its initiative to "Unleash the Gospel."