APPLETON — The story of Solanus Casey, a poor Wisconsin farm boy whom people say healed the sick while serving as the porter of a Capuchin friary, will be told by a Catholic priest who knew him and who will soon witness his beatification.
Capuchin Fr. Dan Crosby, originally from Fond du Lac and now of Detroit, will present “Tales of Life with Soon-to-Be Blessed Solanus Casey” at the Xavier Fine Arts Theatre, 1600 W. Prospect Ave., at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16. The talk is open to the public.
Fr. Casey’s beatification, which will take place Nov. 18 at Detroit’s Ford Field before 66,000 people, is the final step before sainthood. Fr. Casey, who died 60 years ago, will be the second American-born man to be beatified.
Earlier this year Pope Francis declared that an authentic miracle can be attributed to the intercession of Fr. Casey. An additional miracle is required for sainthood.
Before the young Barney Casey entered the seminary, he worked as a street car conductor in Appleton to help support his 15 brothers and sisters. In 1904, he celebrated his first Mass at Appleton’s St. Joseph Church.
Dan Crosby was a young novice in the 1950s when he lived with a frail Fr. Solanus in the Detroit friary. Decades later, Dan’s brother, the late Fr. Mike Crosby, collected documents for the cause of canonization and authored a popular book titled, Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey.
Fr. Dan Crosby said he is eager to come to Appleton to share how the experiences he had with the humble priest changed his life. “All of us can learn from Blessed Solanus how to be more authentic, human, and joyful followers of Christ,” he said.
“The word I heard more often than any other on Solanus’s lips was ‘appreciate,’” Fr. Crosby said. “Frequently he would say, ‘If only we would appreciate our faith.’”
CIA-Faith Mission Operatives, a lay Catholic ministry recognized by the Diocese of Green Bay, is sponsoring the talk as part of its mission to help Catholics investigate their faith. No admission will be charged, but a collection will be taken.
For more information, call (920) 450-3025.