DETROIT - More than 60,000 people gathered for Father Solanus Casey's Beatification Mass at Ford Field in Detroit.
Here is the ceremony in its entirety:
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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.”
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.
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.
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