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Hillsdale students plan to attend the beatification of Solanus Casey in November. Courtesy | Wikimedia Commons

Rev. Solanus Casey, a Roman Catholic priest and Detroit Capuchin friar who ministered to many in the soup kitchen, will be declared a Blessed, just one step away from sainthood, Nov. 18.

With the proximity of the event so close to Hillsdale, a group of approximately 40 Hillsdale College faculty and members of Catholic Society will attend the Beatification Mass at Ford Field.

Junior Jimmy McGrath, an outreach member of Catholic Society board, is leading the Hillsdale group to the Beatification Mass. Growing up in Detroit, McGrath said he heard about Casey beginning in fourth grade.

Casey was a priest of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph. The monks live in St. Bonaventure Monastery and run the Capuchin soup kitchen in Detroit, where Casey served for over 20 years. Casey died in 1957.

McGrath said he admires the Casey’s witness, whose own struggle through academia at his young age, gives “inspiration for all of us who struggled with school ourselves.”  

McGrath said he looks forward to attending the beatification with his peers.

In order to become a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, deceased persons go through a process by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a group dedicated to managing the process toward sainthood, in Rome. In 1976, the Congregation began receiving witnesses and documents on behalf of Father Casey. In 1995, Pope John Paul II gave Casey the title of Venerable out of recognition for Casey’s life of heroic virtue. This past May, a miracle was confirmed and attributed to Casey, advancing Casey to the title Blessed. Medical specialists and theological consultors approved of the healing of a woman’s incurable genetic disease. Pope Francis announced shortly after that Casey will be given the title of Blessed in November.

While tickets to the Mass were free, reservations were made over the summer and are currently no longer available online. Ford Field is expected to reach capacity for attendance at the Beatification.

“I think it will be cool seeing the Church come together for this,” McGrath said.

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Josephine von Dohlen is a junior from Minneapolis, Minnesota who appreciates the communicative power of journalism and the community that it fosters. A graduate of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., she has previously interned with Catholic News Service. At Hillsdale, she is part of the Dow Journalism Program and a major in American Studies. Email: jvondohlen@hillsdale.edu