Monday, May 5, 2014

Solanus Casey prayer service at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Milwaukee, WI

St. Francis of Assisi Parish on 4th and Brown St. in Milwaukee, a German Church built in 1876 and run by the Capuchin Franciscans, has recently begun to hold a Blessing of the Sick Prayer Service on the first Friday of every month, at 2 PM, in honor of Fr. Solanus Casey. Led by Fr. Mike Bertram, with the assistance of Fr. Marty Pable, the prayer service includes an opportunity for confession (at 1:30 PM), scripture readings and a homily, prayer intentions of gratitude and petition, an individual blessing with a relic of the True Cross, and the opportunity for Anointing of the Sick.

I had the great joy of attending the most recent service with my sister and my son, and we found it to be deeply touching and filled with compassion for all of those present. Following the service and a light social, we were able to spend quite a bit of time talking with Fr. Bertram, who very generously and graciously shared a bit of the history of the church and the organ with us, as well as the story of Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey, for whom the prayer services are dedicated.
continue at Imprisoned in my Bones


9 comments:

  1. Someone's gotta say it: Look what they did to the interior of that church!! Absolutely disgraceful.

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  2. What a disastrous wreck-ovation of a beautiful church.

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  3. The upside is that restoration can be done here, if desired. The old High Altar is in place, and the absence of pews would make reflooring an easier task. Alas, I don't see that happening in the near future...

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  4. That is a good sign. The basic layout is still in place. What is so disappointing is that the higher-ups see no correlation between this kind of iconoclasm that took place and the downward spiral in Catholic culture and catechesis. There seems to be no discussion at higher levels (synod planning, etc.) about restoring the original (and deeply formative) architecture of our churches.

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  5. I'm so disappointed by all of these critical comments. You're missing the point of the story! A poor, inner-city parish is offering a healing prayer service to those who suffer from physical, spiritual or emotional pain. People are being blessed with a relic from the TRUE CROSS! The intercession of a saintly priest from Wisconsin, Fr. Solanus Casey, is being invoked. But all you care about is how the church was "wreckovated." Perhaps you should take the time to talk with the current pastor about the reasons why the church was remodeled in this fashion. You would learn that if it weren't done in this fashion to save money, it might have been sold as the wealthy parishioners moved west to avoid the poverty that plagued the neighborhood in the 80's and continues today. Instead of criticizing with your superiority complex, why not send some money to the parish so they can remodel it according to your tastes? Why not offer to send money to the neighbors whose homes are in disrepair, a physical representation of their sad and desperate lives? Why not pray for the sick who are taking advantage of these beautiful prayer services? Honestly, sometimes I'm ashamed to be Catholic. We don't seem to know how to offer empathy and love but instead revel in tearing each other down. I like a beautiful church as much as the next person, but really, criticism doesn't do anybody any good.

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    1. It's a beautiful event Anne. I really enjoyed reading your post. As you probably know, I've posted on Solanus Casey many times, I think he will one day be canonized. His love for the poor(not to mention baseball and hotdogs) makes him one of my favorites; very proud to have him as part of the treasury that is Wisconsin. I pray one of those suffering will be granted a miracle by his intercession.

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    2. Thanks, Matt! I'm confident that sainthood will not be far away for him. He is wonderful!

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