Fr. Solanus Casey to be beatified Nov. 18 at Ford Field

Fr. Solanus Casey

DETROIT — The beatification Mass for Fr. Solanus Casey could draw upwards of 60,000 people, so a venue was needed that would be large enough to accommodate what is anticipated to be the largest Catholic event in Detroit since the visit of St. John Paul II to the city in 1987.

The beatification Mass will take place Nov. 18 at downtown Detroit’s Ford Field, the home of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions, the Capuchins and Archdiocese of Detroit have announced.

Much like with the pope’s visit, which included a stop at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Lions’ former home, the beatification will see the stadium transformed for the celebration of the Mass and configured to accommodate tens of thousands of guests.

With the date and location of the Mass set, further details of the event will be made available at solanuscasey.org/beatification. Ticket information will be available by Aug. 15, according to a press release from the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, to which Fr. Solanus belonged. Questions about the beatification Mass can be addressed to amorris@thecapuchins.org or by calling (313) 579-2100 ext. 0.

On May 4, Pope Francis announced that the longtime Detroit friar would be elevated to the status of “blessed,” only the second American-born man to be honored with such a distinction.

In announcing the date, Capuchin provincial minister Fr. Michael Sullivan said the community is “filled with joy,” adding the Mass will be a “beautiful way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his passing.”

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said he is grateful to hear from the Capuchins about the date, which falls on the one-year anniversary of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Synod 16.

“The beatification of Fr. Solanus will be a tremendous blessing for the whole community of southeast Michigan, an opportunity for all of us to experience the love of Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said.