The National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica always had a special place in the heart of Father Solanus Casey. He loved the Little Flower – and parishioners have stated that he would take the bus to come to Shrine on a regular basis. Thankfully, we do have a photo of him at our church dated June 29, 1941. The occasion was a major celebration of the Mass – and if one looks closely you can see beloved Father Solanus praying just inside the sanctuary. This is an incredible honor to our parish that he came here and prayed among us. With his beatification, we have the assurance of the Church that he is in heaven praying with and for us to this very day. He is among the “great cloud of witnesses” who continue inspire and encourage us. (Hebrews 12:1)
To honor the presence of Father Solanus and his historic beatification, we have arranged a series of special opportunities to call upon his intercession and be inspired by the witness of his life.
We have returned the chair on which he would have prayed during his time at Shrine.
We have a special holy card with an enlarged photo of his praying at Shrine. On the back of the holy card is a prayer for our entire community – that Father Solanus and Saint Therese will help us to realize our parish vision as we entrust our prayers to God.
We also have placed a box just next to the chair with slips of paper on which you may write your own prayers and petitions.After his beatification, we will take all those intentions to his tomb at Saint Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit.
To help us appreciate the witness of his life, we will be focusing on how his virtues connect to the gospel readings in the coming weeks. Our weekend preaching will focus on the following themes:
November 5: Serving with Humility
November 12: Giving Witness to Hope
November 19: Serving the Poor
This month promises to be historic and memorable. There will be 65,000 faithful at Ford Field for the beatification Mass at 4:00pm on November 18. We will have about 300 Shrine parishioners in attendance. While the event is completely booked and full, we do have a wait list for those who may still be interested in attending. Please contact our parish office if you would like to be added to the wait list for this historic event.
As Father Solanus said, “Blessed be God in all His Designs.”
The following film was written and produced by veteran Michigan filmmakers Dr. Stan and Pam Williams under their SWC Films banner and was directed principally by Kelly Nieto, the creator of The Cross and the Light stage musical. The original orchestral score was created by Royal Oak, Michigan composer James Stonehouse. Famed Catholic illustrator and graphic novel artist, Sean Lam, created the drawings.
Children as young as five and adults of all ages will enjoy the colorful, engaging film.The film features eleven different stories that introduce children to this humble priest’s spirituality and ministry. Each segment features a child who tells a fascinating and true story about Fr. Solanus. As the story unfolds, another child colors a large drawing that is eventually revealed to be a colorful illustration of the segment.