The Solanus Casey Center in Detroit will sponsor the free premiere of a film about Father Solanus Casey, a Detroit Capuchin monk credited with miraculous cures.
Fr. Solanus will be recognized in a beatification ceremony Nov. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit, following the historic announcement by Pope Francis on May 4 that Fr. Solanus will be elevated to Blessed in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis’ announcement, takes the monk a step closer to being declared a saint. Details are available at solanuscasey.org/beatification. Ticket information will announced in August.
The film “Extraordinary,” premiering July 16 at the AMC Star Southfield 20, was written and produced by Michigan filmmakers Stan and Pam Williams under their SWC Films banner. It was directed principally by Kelly Nieto, creator of “The Cross and the Light” stage musical, and an original orchestral score was created by Royal Oak composer James Stonehouse.
“When they look at the paper, there’s nothing to color … just a few indecipherable scribbles,” says Stan Williams. “They’re confused because they can’t figure out what to do with such an incomplete ‘design.’ But when they ask God, and wait on Him, little by little the beautiful drawing is mystically revealed. That allows them to color between the lines and create something beautiful.
“This, of course, is what each of our lives is like,” he continues. “We can’t see what God’s design is for our life. But if we ask and wait on Him, and prepare ourselves with the right skills and tools, our life will be blessed and colorful.”
It’s a metaphor for Solanus’ belief that “Blessed be God in all His Designs.”
Casey, who was born Nov. 25, 1870, and died July 31, 1957, in Detroit, was a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph and a co-founders of the city’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929.
“I was thrilled to be asked to bring this project to life,” Stan Williams said, adding that for years he made monthly visits to the Solanus Casey Center for spiritual direction.
“Being asked to create and produce ‘Extraordinary’ became a yearlong passion project for me. Everything about this project was extraordinary, not just the stories, but also the center staff, the friars, our crew and especially the cast of 21 children.”
The production was made possible by donations.
Although ordained a priest, Fr. Solanus Casey never received permission to hear confessions or preach a sermon. He celebrated the Eucharist each day and performed apostolic work in a tiny office. He was the friary doorkeeper whom people visited for counsel and spiritual guidance. He was always ready to listen to anyone at any time. He faithfully provided soup for the hungry, kind words for the troubled and a healing touch for the ill. Pope John Paul II declared him Venerable in 1995.
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