Blessed Father Solanus Casey

Father Solanus Casey, Capuchin was born November 25, 1870 on a farm in Wisconsin. His Irish immigrant parents named him Bernard. He was the sixth child in a family of ten boys and six girls. After he left the farm he worked throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota as a logger, a hospital orderly, a street car operator and a prison guard.

At the age of twenty-one Bernard entered St. Francis High School Seminary in Milwaukee to study for the diocese priesthood. Five years later he decided to enter a religious order. He was invested in the Capuchin Order at Detroit in 1897 and received his religious name of Solanus.

After his ordination in 1904, Father Solanus spent 20 years in New York Harlem and Yonkers. In 1924 he was sent to St. Bonaventure Monastery, Detroit where he worked for 20 years . In 1945, he returned to New York for one year. He was assigned to Huntington, Indiana from 1946 to 1956. He was reassigned to St. Bonaventure in 1956.

Father Solanus spent his life in the service of people. At the monastery door, he met thousands of persons from every age and walk of life. In time of trouble and sorrow, they sought his prayers and advice. Many attributed favors to his prayers. He constantly showed his love of God, loving all of God's people. He was always ready and willing to listen to anyone any time of the day or night. In return he asked people to love and support the missions.

During his final illness, he remarked: "I'm offering my sufferings that all might be one. If only I could see the conversion of the whole world." His last conscious act was to sit up in bed and exclaim: "I give my soul to Jesus Christ." He died in Detroit at the age of 86 on July 31, 1957 and is buried at St. Bonaventure Monastery.