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Superior trolley operator steps toward sainthood

A former Superior trolley conductor moves one step closer to sainthood when he is beatified Saturday in Detroit, Mich.

Beatification is part of the complex process of bestowing the title of saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Following the beatification, Solanus earns the title of Blessed, one step below canonization.

Barney Casey grew up on a farm in Willow River, Wis. He moved to Superior in 1890 to become a motorman on the city's new trolley system. Casey rented a house at 1605 Belknap St. with three of his brothers and worked his way up to the position of conductor. When his trolley was halted by a stabbing on the tracks, Casey made the decision to devote his life to God. He approached Rev. Sturm at the Sacred Heart parish rectory to begin his new journey as Rev. Solanus.

By the time of his death in 1957, Casey had become the most celebrated member of the Capuchin Order in the United States. He was known for providing soup for the hungry, kind words for the troubled and a healing touch for the ill.

The beatification Mass for Fr. Solanus Casey takes place 4-6 p.m. Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit. It will be streamed live at solanuscasey.org/beatification-live and the Father Solanus Casey Facebook page. Visit www.solanuscenter.org to learn more about Casey.

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