Pilgrimage to the mass of Beatification of Father Solanus Casey
Part 1 – Visit to Saint Francis Seminary in Milwaukee
Due to a special gift, I had the unexpected chance to attend the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey in Detroit, MI on Saturday November 18, 2017. It all started with the planned pilgrimage sponsored by my parish, St. Patrick of Hudson, WI. A number of parishioners have some ties to Father Solanus. He was born in this area and his baptism and First Communion records are at our parish. It is believed he was baptized, in 1870, at what was a mission church at the time in Prescott, WI. The records are kept at St. Patrick since it was the main church for the area. A number of parishioners had assisted in the work for the Cause of Father Solanus for sainthood. In addition, one of our parishioners had written a play about Solanus’s life. Many members of St. Patrick acted in the play.
We began our pilgrimage on Friday morning at 8am with morning mass. After mass we loaded the bus with about 50 people and headed to Milwaukee. In Milwaukee we had the privilege of hearing a talk about Barnard Francis Casey (Father Solanus’s name before he became a priest) and a tour of Saint Francis Seminary. While at the seminary, we got to see a statue of Blessed Solanus.
A small picture with the original wall paper of the dormitory that he stayed in is on the fourth floor of the seminary.
There was this cool winding stair case that I actually got to climb up. At the top it was a glassed in area allowing us to see out over the city. This was a special experience for me because I am afraid of heights. I didn’t want to miss out and have regrets so I climbed up and made it to the landing.
The story goes that Barney “heard” Mary tell him to go to Detroit. It is thought that this happened in Superior, WI but the seminary has a statue of Mary that was present at the Milwaukee seminary at the time Barney attended.
After dinner, we were back on the bus heading to Jackson, MI for our overnight. Due to traffic in Chicago we arrived to our hotel around 1am.