Blessed Solanus Casey to be remembered with nine days of public prayers, Masses

  • Novena and July 30 feast day remember Detroit’s beloved “Porter of St. Bonaventure”

  • Marks 90 years of Capuchin Soup Kitchen serving the poor of Detroit, Blessed Solanus Casey instrumental in its founding

  • Ongoing renovation and expansion of Solanus Casey Center underway

Blessed Solanus Casey, Detroit’s beloved Capuchin priest on the road to sainthood in the Catholic Church, will be remembered at the Solanus Casey Center with a nine-day novena beginning on July 22, 2019, culminating with the Feast of Solanus Casey on July 30, 2019. Each day of the novena of prayer focuses on a particular area of Blessed Solanus Casey’s life and ministry. All events are free and open to all.

Roman Catholic priest Francis Solanus Casey (1870-1957), member of the Capuchin order of Franciscans, was declared “Blessed” by Pope Francis in 2017. A Mass of Beatification was celebrated November 18, 2017 at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

So far in 2019, more than 70,000 prayers have been left at the tomb of Blessed Solanus Casey asking for his intercession, and more than 50,000 pilgrims have come to Detroit to visit the Solanus Casey Center and pray at the tomb.

During his years at St. Bonaventure Monastery, Blessed Solanus Casey fed the poor, ministered to the sick, and offered counsel and prayer to Detroiters facing challenging circumstances. At his Fr. Casey’s prompting, Fr. Herman Buss and the Secular Franciscans opened the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929 to provide hope when hunger stalked the streets of Detroit at the onset of the Great Depression.

Throughout the nine-day novena leading up to the feast day, the Solanus Casey Center gift shop will offer a discount of 20 percent or more off all items. Confessions will be heard by Capuchin priests Monday through Saturday during the novena week from 9:30am to 4pm.

Schedule of Novena and Feast Day Events:

Monday, July 22 – Mother Earth

7:45am and 12:00 noon Masses, followed by litany and prayer, with intercessions for protection and care for our common home

Fr. Solanus grew up on a farm and spent significant time surrounded by nature

Tuesday, July 23 – Music, musicians and artists

7:45am and 12:00 noon Masses with litany and prayer for musicians.

Fr. Solanus played the violin

Wednesday, July 24 – The sick

7:45am Mass

12:00 noon Mass with litany and prayer with and for the sick

2pm healing service. Service will be interpreted into ASL for the hearing impaired.

Fr. Solanus prayed fervently for the sick and suffering. His prayers and intercession were known to sometimes result in miraculous healing.

Thursday, July 25 – The poor

7:45am Mass

12:00 noon Mass with litany and prayer with and for the poor

Fr. Solanus inspired the creation of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929 in the early days of the Great Depression. Visitors to the Solanus Casey Center are invited to donate a gift of men’s or women’s socks and/or underwear for guests of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen shower program and the clothing distribution center at Capuchin Services Center.

Friday, July 26 – Children and grandparents

7:45am Mass

12:00 noon Mass celebrated by Fr. Ed Foley, vice-postulator of the Cause for Canonization of Blessed Solanus Casey, followed by litany and prayer for children and grandparents on the Feast of St. Anne, the patron saint of grandparents and the Archdiocese of Detroit

Fr. Solanus had great love for children and families.

Saturday, July 27 – Young adults

7:45am Mass

12:00 noon Mass followed by litany and prayer

As a young adult, Fr. Solanus encountered challenges and disappointments, but through prayer discerned and surrendered to God’s will.

Sunday, July 28 – Holy Mother Church

9:00am Mass with litany and prayer with and for all the Church, celebrated by Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon

Noon Mass with Bishop Francis Kalabat of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle

Monday, July 29 – Those in religious and consecrated life

7:45am Mass

12:00 noon Mass with litany and prayer for those in religious and consecrated life.

As a Capuchin friar and priest, Fr. Solanus took a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Tuesday, July 30 – The Feast Day

7:45am Mass

12:00 noon Mass with litany and prayer for the Feast of Blessed Solanus Casey

7:00pm Mass with litany and prayer for the Feast of Blessed Solanus Casey, with special invited celebrant, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Capuchin, Archbishop of Boston                                   

All events take place at the Solanus Casey Center at 1780 Mt. Elliott Street in Detroit. Secured and lit off-street parking is available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis in a gated lot off of Kercheval Street between Mt. Elliott and Meldrum. Additional parking is available on the streets surrounding the center.


The Solanus Casey Center is a spiritual oasis and place of pilgrimage where souls are nourished. Opened in 2002, the Center is a place of peace where the presence of God’s healing grace is experienced through the intercession of Blessed Solanus Casey. It is an anchor of authentic Catholic values and Franciscan spirituality in the heart of the city.

The Solanus Casey Center is a ministry of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, headquartered in Detroit, with ministries in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Montana.  The Capuchins are funded primarily by donations, receiving no government assistance.

# # #