Sharing: Time Talent Treasure
A good steward, Father Solanus Casey
If you are reader, you make time to get engrossed in a good read. Reading gives such pleasure and there are so many interesting, excellent books out there and so little time to get to them all. Giving of your time to something or someone is a special gift that only you can give. And reading is a gift that you give to yourself. So how do you find time to read the same book more than once? The book has to have something very special that makes you want to connect again. Such is the case of reading about Father Solanus Casey.
Father Casey was born to an Irish immigrant couple, who escaped the potato famine in Ireland. The senior Caseys met and married in 1863, bore and raised a dozen plus children. Two girls died of the ‘black diphtheria’, Mary Ann (12) and Martha (3). All the boys survived except their sixth child, Barney (named for his father) who survived with damaged vocal chords which gave him a high pitched voice for the rest of his life. The couple left Boston for Wisconsin, Minnesota and other farming communities. They suffered greatly with crop failures, a barn burning, diseases, and so much more. But never did they fail to pray. Prayer was as much a part of their life as breathing.
At the time of his first Communion, Barney had a dream about the Blessed Virgin Mary that stayed with him for the rest of his life. Barney’s life was a fascinating adventure with many ups and downs. He finally spoke to a parish priest about becoming a priest and the journey began. On January 14, 1897 his investiture into the novitiate was scheduled and Barney Casey was then known among the Capuchins as Brother Solanus Casey.
Father Solanus had a very difficult life in which he encountered many trials which tested his ‘metal’ as a man and a priest. He was told he could not say Mass or give a homily because he did not have the required abilities to do such. Father Solanus was given the job of ‘monastery doorkeeper.’ His humble acceptance of his calling never left him and today he is called a would be saint. He has many today working for his sainthood as there are thousands in this world who are alive because of his cures, be they mental or physical. His humble being, his quiet approach, his never turning away someone who was on the other side of his door and needed help, his loyal followers went to wherever he was assigned. Even in poor health, he opened his door for 53 years. At age 86 (1957) he died. Pope John Paul II declared him “venerable’ which is the first step toward sainthood. His life was and is so simple and powerful that it bears reading and more than once.
by Kathy Reilly
One such book is SOLANUS CASEY The story of Father Solanus Revised by Catherine M. Odell Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. Huntington, IN 46750 (check with the St.Paul Sisters book store in Dedham)