Pilgrimage to the mass of Beatification of Father Solanus Casey
Part 3 – Mass of Beatification
The highlight of the trip!
We arrived by bus to a parking lot assigned to our bus. The parking lot was supposedly only about one mile from the Ford stadium. Perhaps if it had not been pouring rain, it wouldn’t have seemed so far. Little did we know but the walk to the stadium was heaven compared to the walk back. We walked through the open air Christmas tree lot, craft, and famer’s market buildings out of the rain. There were people everywhere and people kept asking the vendors, “Where is Ford stadium?” It seems to me that signage would have been nice. Maybe they had planned some but due to the rain they didn’t put it up. We arrived to the Ford stadium about 45 minutes prior to the Beatification mass and found our seats. We had amazing seats in row 9. Interestingly, a few seats directly in front of us where empty so we had an unobstructed view. An alter had been set up on a stage on the floor of the stadium. An orchestra and choir as well as seating for priests, family, and dignitaries, were arranged around the stage.
The mass began with the procession of Cardinal Amato, the representative of the Holy Father. The orchestra and choir opened with the entrance hymn. The music was very beautiful.
After the introductory rite was the Beatification. It included reading of the apostolic letter and Presentation of the Decree. This was the unique part of the mass that is only happens in this type of mass.
The second reading was one of my favorites. Philippians 4:4-9 …”Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus….”
A number of my fellow pilgrims though the Prayers of the Faithful where one of their favorite parts. The petitions were presented by multiple people in different languages.
How long do you think it took for 70,000 people to receive communion? It was about 30-40 minutes. Communion began with the song, ‘Taste and See’. It goes, “Taste and see, taste and see the goodness of the Lord”. I was so overwhelmed with the song because of the gratitude I felt at being at this special even. I wont lie, I shed a few tears. During the music the priests where taken up the stairs to the upper levels of the arena first. Just when we began to wonder, how we were going to communion, a petite priest came through the row below us and was administering communion to that row and the one above and below. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that we didn’t have to leave our seats. We were in row 9 and some people were walking all the way up to the top for communion.
After communion a hymn in honor of Blessed Solanus Casey was sung. Mass ended with “All creatures of our God and King”.
If you would like to see highlights of the mass, I suggest checking out the Facebook page, Father Solanus Casey. They have professional videos taken near the alter.
Our adventure wouldn’t be complete without some drama! We gathered to take the walk back to our bus. It was dark, pouring rain, and windy. The buildings that had been open earlier were closed now. We had umbrellas but they kept getting blown inside out! It was traumatic! I was very grateful that I had my winter coat but I had unfortunately left my gloves in the hotel thinking that it would be warm. We arrived at the bus, soaking wet and nearly frozen but we were all glad we had made the trek. Father Solanus Casey always gave the people who came to him with their prayer requests something to do so I guess it was our calling to suffer a bit for the privilege of being at this awesome event.
Thank you Capuchin Franciscans and the Archdiocese of Detroit for hosting this amazing event. It was worth battling the rain, traffic, and crowds.