Those hoping to attend the upcoming service that brings a Detroit Catholic priest closer to sainthood soon have a chance to snag their spots.
Thousands are expected to attend the Nov. 18 beatification Mass at Ford Field for the Rev. Solanus Casey. Free tickets become available 9 a.m. Oct. 9 at www.fordfield.com while they last, organizers announced Monday.
Some tickets also are available on a limited basis at parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.
To accommodate the large crowd, the stadium is being configured to accommodate about 60,000 guests, officials said.
“Not unlike the Silverdome Mass celebrated by St. John Paul, this, too, will be a history-making liturgy,” Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron said. “The beatification of Father Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the church in the Archdiocese of Detroit and for the whole community. He is an inspiration to Catholics — and to all — of the power of grace to transform one’s life.”
Anticipation has been high since May, when Pope Francis declared that Casey, who helped launch Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen, would become only the second American-born male to be beatified.
A confirmed miracle is elevating the priest to “blessed” from the “venerable” status Pope John Paul II granted him in 1995 for a life of uncommon virtue serving God — the first step in canonization in the Catholic Church. A second is required to certify Casey as a saint.
The longtime priest started serving in New York and spent more than 20 years as a porter at St. Bonaventure Monastery on Mt. Elliott, earning acclaim as ‘the Doorkeeper,’ a brother who would offer soup, kind words and a healing touch.
Since his death in 1957, he has been credited with miraculous cures, including a woman whose skin disease reportedly vanished after she prayed at his tomb.
“The beatification is a remarkable moment in all of our lives and one to celebrate Father Solanus, whose compassion and attribution to miraculous cures have endeared him to those in Detroit and across the world,”said the Rev. Michael Sullivan, provincial minister for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, in a statement Monday. “We welcome as many as possible to be a part of it.”
The beatification ceremony was preceded by officials exhuming Casey’s remains to collect relics as required.
Those pieces gathered Aug. 1 were sent to Rome for cataloging and preparation, and are slated to return to Detroit to grace an altar during the Ford Field event.
For information on hotels, parking and volunteer or donation opportunities, go to https://beatification.visitdetroit.com/.