Catholic Herald Staff
An event celebrating the life of Bl. Solanus Casey will take place on his feast day, Tuesday, July 30, from 6-8 p.m. in Kress Hall at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Superior.
The event will include a meal, presentation and time of prayer with Dan Tracy, seminarian for the diocese, native of Superior and son of the Cathedral parish.
Bl. Solanus Casey was born Bernard Francis in Prescott in 1870. After a time in the diocesan seminary, he joined the Capuchins and served as a friar for more than 50 years until his death in 1957. When his body was exhumed in 2017, Casey was found to be incorrupt. He was beatified by Pope Francis in 2017.
Tracy began extensive research on the friar after learning that he had studied for a time as a diocesan seminarian in Milwaukee. Casey also lived in Tracy’s hometown of Superior during the 1880s and 1890s.
Catering to the local audience, Tracy will center on the approximately two years Casey lived in Superior, although extending beyond that as Bl. Solanus’ family remained in the area after he entered seminary. In fact, there are still distant relations living in the Superior area.
For the seminarian, “the highlight I would say of his time in Superior is the moment of priestly discernment.”
“It’s consumed a good chunk of my free time in seminary – not that we have a ton,” Tracy said, “but it’s been a great joy because there was this profound moment while he was in Superior where (Bl. Solanus) clearly said, ‘I need to consider the priesthood.’”
Casey, sixth in a family of 16 children, attended Sacred Heart parish with his family at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The parish, which no longer exists, is where he first approached the pastor to discuss discernment.
Tracy also believes the locution from Mary the saint received to go to Detroit happened in Superior.
“A lot of his life in Superior was within one square mile of the cathedral,” Tracy noted. Sacred Heart parish was actually on the same block where the diocese’s chancery is now located.
As a teaser for the talk he said, “I’m trying to show visually how Solanus, for those two years, would have moved in Superior. From his work, from his job as working on the street car in Superior, to going to Mass, to going home and how that would have looked and what kind of proximity to where the cathedral now stands.
“He walked the same streets,” he said.
After the potluck meal, Tracy will speak and then there will be an opportunity for prayer and a blessing with a relic of the true cross. A first-class relic of Bl. Solanus Casey will also be available for veneration.
A resource sheet will be available for further information at the presentation. Dan Tracy may be contacted at ude.s1575645060fs@yc1575645060artd1575645060.