Feb 29, 2008
Book written by Catherine M. Odell
This is a revised edition of Catherine M. Odell’s 1995 biography on Fr. Solanus Casey. Fr. Solanus Casey was a Capuchin Franciscan who is being considered for sainthood. He has been at the level of “venerable” since July 11, 1995 when Pope John Paul II acknowledged his heroic virtues. Now, he needs a miracle for beatification and an additional one for canonization. If canonized he may become the first native-born American male saint.
Fr. Solanus was born on November 25, 1870 near Oak Grove, Wisconsin to Bernard and Ellen Casey who were originally from Ireland. He was their sixth child of sixteen. He was given the name Bernard in honor of his father and was known as Barney. Because his family farmed they did not have much money and Barney did not have much time for education.
Later he had jobs as a logger, hospital orderly, prison guard and a street car operator. He was able to take care of his needs and send some money to the family. During this time Barney discerned that he was being possibly called to the priesthood. At the age of 21 he began attending a high school seminary. This was a very difficult time for him because the classes were taught in Latin and German. When he was finished, he decided to join the Capuchins who were headquartered at St. Bonaventure’s in Detroit, Michigan.