When we think of saints, we most often think of people who lived long ago and did great, heroic deeds. In other words, people much different from ourselves. Capuchin Solanus Casey, who was beatified by Pope Francis in November, was born in Wisconsin and died in 1957, when many of us were alive.
In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus appears to His followers, closed up in a room out of fear, and twice says to them, “peace be with you.” The second time He adds immediately, “as the Father sent Me, so I send you.” In other words, don’t be afraid, go forth. How did the Father send Jesus? How is Jesus sending those disciples He was talking to that first Easter Sunday? How is Jesus sending you and me today?
Solanus Casey was sent in the following way: he was sent away from St. Francis Seminary here in Milwaukee because he was weak in studies and told he would have to join a religious community, if he wanted to be a priest (in a religious community he could be a “simplex” priest, that is, one who could say Mass but not preach or hear confessions). He served many years as a receptionist and a door keeper and performed a lot of ministry to the sick, bringing Christ’s love and compassion to them. Great, earthshaking deeds? No, but a life of humble service, bringing the love of Christ to others.
On Tuesday evening, April 10, at 7 pm in the rectory living room, Capuchin Fr. Marty Pable will speak about this simple, humble man, whom he knew personally. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be inspired and reminded that each one of us is sent to bring Christ’s love and compassion to others, that is, to be a saint. Blessed Solanus Casey, pray for us.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS