New York Capuchin Parishes Celebrating the Beatification Of Father Solanus Casey


Father Solanus Casey, O.F.M. Cap., was perhaps best known for his service to the poor and abandoned in the Archdiocese of Detroit, where he will be beatified at a Mass on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m., at Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

The Archdiocese of New York also holds a claim to the Capuchin Franciscan friar as Father Solanus served at three of its parishes for a total of 20 years.

His first assignment after priestly ordination was as sacristan at Sacred Heart parish in Yonkers, 1904-1906. He would go on to serve there as porter, or doorkeeper, 1906-1918, a role that he held for more than 20 years at St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, from 1924 to 1945.

Father Solanus also served in Manhattan at Our Lady of Sorrows parish on the Lower East Side, 1918-1921, where he was sacristan and moderator of the young ladies sodality, and at Our Lady Queens of Angels in East Harlem, 1921-1924, where he was porter and promoter of the Seraphic Mass Association for the support of Capuchin missions.

He also served for a year at St. Michael parish in the neighboring Diocese of Brooklyn, 1945-1946.

Father Solanus is remembered by New York friars who lived with him during their time in the Capuchin novitiate in Huntington, Ind., where Father Solanus served from 1946 to 1956. He died in 1957.

His priesthood began inauspiciously with his ordination for the Capuchins in 1904 as a “simplex priest” who was restricted from hearing confessions or preaching in public.

Father Mauro Johri, O.F.M. Cap., the general minister of the Capuchin Franciscan Order, in a Nov. 1 letter written for the beatification, said Father Solanus was not hindered by the designation. Rather, he professed “total service” to his fellow friars and “to the poorest and most needy who approached the friary looking for help,” even as he was “given assignments that were normally reserved for lay friars.”

Father Solanus’ service in Detroit extended through the Great Depression, and he received the poor at the door of the friary with the “greatest respect for the sacredness and dignity of their persons,” Father Johri wrote.

“To those who turned to him, Br. Solanus never asked where they came from, what religion they professed, if they were really in need or faking. He treated everyone with compassion and sensitivity…In Br. Solanus, the poor person found a friend and confidant; before him the shame of revealing one’s own poverty and misfortune was lightened.”

Brother John Shento, O.F.M. Cap., executive director of communications for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Mary, New York/New England, in White Plains, said that a number of buses from Capuchin parishes in New York will travel to Detroit for the Mass of Beatification.

Father Michael Greco, O.F.M. Cap., the provincial minister, will be in attendance, as will all men in formation for the province as well as simply professed friars, Brother Shento said.

Those unable to travel to Detroit will have an opportunity to celebrate the beatification at special Masses and other events scheduled at Capuchin parishes in the archdiocese Nov. 18.

St. Joseph Church/Friary

Father Salvatore Cordaro,

O.F.M. Cap., pastor

34 South Chestnut St., New Paltz

(845) 532-0184

3:30-4:30 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation

5 p.m. Mass in honor of Solanus Casey

Anointing of the Sick after the 5 p.m. Mass

Good Shepherd Church/Friary

Father Thomas Faiola,

O.F.M. Cap., pastor

608 Isham St., Manhattan

(617) 794-3927

5-6 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation

6:30 p.m. Mass [Spanish] in honor of

Solanus Casey

3 p.m. Movie about Father Solanus followed by a reflection

Anointing of the Sick after the noon Mass and after the 5 p.m. Mass

Holy Cross Church/Residence

Father Francis Gasparik,

O.F.M. Cap., pastor

329 W. 42nd St., Manhattan

(914) 297-6934

Holy Cross 3:30-4:15 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation

Holy Cross 4:30 p.m. Mass in honor of Solanus Casey

St. John the Baptist Church/Residence

Brother Salvatore Patricola,

O.F.M. Cap.

213 W. 30th St., Manhattan

(212) 564-9070

St. John 3-3:45 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation

St. John 4 p.m. Mass in honor of

Solanus Casey

Sacred Heart Church/Friary

Father Matthew Janeczko,

O.F.M. Cap., pastor

110 Shonnard Place, Yonkers

(914) 963-4205

3-4:30 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation

5 p.m. Mass in honor of Solanus Casey

Immediately following the 5 p.m. Mass, there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with priests available for both the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. Benediction will be celebrated at 7 p.m.

Our Lady of Sorrows Church/Friary

Father Thomas McNamara,

O.F.M. Cap., pastor

213 Stanton St., Manhattan

(845) 554-2543

5-6 p.m. Sacrament of Reconciliation

6:30 p.m. Mass (Spanish) in honor of

Solanus Casey

Anointing of the Sick after each Mass