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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
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 and the Santa Barbara News-Press. At Hillsdale, she is a member of the Dow Journalism Program and majors in American Studies. Email: jvondohlen@hillsdale.edu