St. Bonaventure Church

SBC42812-43For three years I imagined myself at the
St. Bonaventure Church in Detroit, and, oh, the roller coaster rides that led to that unforgettable pilgrimage!

Steven was to attend a conference in Marinette, Wisconsin the last week of April; so, as he planned his trip, he had an idea.

“Why don’t you accompany me?  Let’s do what we’ve put off for too long.”

Landin’s magic of three’s

Steven knew that I’d lived in Philadelphia many years ago.  I’d even been to Chicago for the Christmas holidays in 2004.  But I’d never been straight up to the northern states, and neither had he.

“So why not take some extra time and explore?  How about visiting the Solanus Center in Detroit, the Dominican St. Jude Shrine in Chicago, and St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota?”

“Really?!!  Sure!”



The third day of Steven’s conference, we came very close to calling off the rest of the trip; but somehow, with a lot of determination and resilience, we prevailed despite the doubts and emotional distress.  We proceeded instead to Milwaukee where we spent the night visiting with Steven’s cousin, Reid, and his partner, Dale.

“Be very careful driving in Detroit,” they cautioned us.

Oh, my gosh, I thought.  Detroit sounds scary and foreboding. 

We’d driven from Minneapolis to Baldwin, Wisconsin to Marinette to Michigan so we could proceed to Detroit.  How could we turn back after traveling all that distance?

I recalled what I’d told my students during the writing process.  “Every good story has drama, so remember Landin’s magic of three’s.  Make sure your story has three very exciting parts leading to the happy conclusion.”


We had three special places to visit and about a thousand miles to drive.  I was so emotionally distraught that I wasn’t sure I could pull myself together.  Could I see the trip through to completion?

My Inner Voice rallied.  Maybe Father Casey was beckoning, cheering us on?

Just a little farther.  Just a little more.  You can do it.  You can get past this.

High anxiety kept us alert.  Reid and Dale had told us to keep our doors locked, but what we saw was totally unexpected and shockingly artsy with an air of self-deprecating humor.  Only, the dilapidated houses weren’t funny; and the empty lots revealed a mass exodus from the neighborhood.


“If these houses could speak, what would they tell us about the neighborhood’s economic woes?  How beautiful the place must’ve been in its heyday!  So many abandoned houses now, though.  All down the same street.  Gosh!  How could life have come to this?” I wondered aloud.

Veritable beacon   

Deeper and deeper into the depressed area we drove.  I was stunned to see such ravages in an American city.  Even the European countries we visited didn’t look like this.  What sadness!  How did the residents feel?  What about the kids?  I couldn’t imagine growing up in such a somber environment.  Yet the streets were clean, smooth, and well-kept.

Before long we saw a huge cemetery and, oh, what a welcome sight!  The Solanus Casey Center and the St. Bonaventure Friary were right across the street.


“This is where we’ll be tomorrow morning,” Steven said.  “Now to find a place for the night.”

We could escape to a better place, but what about the residents?

We drove around until we found a place where I’d feel safe, away from the unseen dangers that surely lurked nearby.  Then, as we met folks who worked within the hotel, I relaxed and enjoyed their smiles and their conversations.


St. Bonaventure Church

Still feeling somewhat disheveled the following morning, we were relieved and glad to arrive at the Solanus Center without any difficulty.  We parked in the gated area and took the sidewalk to the front entrance where, lo and behold, our emotions took over the moment we stepped within.

After an incredible journey and a tearful time, Father Casey awaited us with open arms!

SCC42812-239        SBC61613s-49        SBC42812-208

SBC42812-124        SBC61613-45        SBC42812-118

SBC61613s-24        SBC42812-99        SBC61613-73

SBC42812-78        SBC42812-114        SBC61613-34

SBC42812-94        SBC42812-422        SBC42812-93

SBC61613-97        SBC61613-37        SBC61613-99

SBC61613-41        SBC61613-78        SBC61613-44

SBC61613-98        SBC42812-97        SBC61613-31

SBC42812-53        SCC42812-176        SBC42812-61

SBC61613s-7        SBC42812-65        SBC42812-51

SBC61613s-19    SBC42812-122    SBC61613s-32

October 24, 2012

Yesterday, Steven emailed Fr. Larry Webber, OFM Capuchin, Director of the Solanus Casey Center and St. Bonaventure Church.

I noticed that the glass doors are etched with a building or buildings.  I am unable to identify it.  Please let me know what and where it is, so we can add that to the blog.

Today, Father Larry responded.

The etched doors at the tomb of Venerable Solanus (which, unfortunately, are almost never closed to be able to appreciate) are of the New Jerusalem from the book of Revelations (21:10-14)— a sign of promised life and the second coming of Christ which we await.


After Communion  Most sweet Lord Jesus, pierce my inmost heart with the most dear and most bracing wound on your love.  Pierce it with true, serene, apostolic, and most holy charity, that my soul may ever yearn and melt with love for you and the desire to possess you.  May my soul be drawn toward you and overwhelmed with the hope of entering your courts.  May it long to be dissolved and to be with you.

Grant that my soul may hunger for you, the bread of angels and the food of holy souls, our supersubstantial bread, having in itself every sweetness and good taste, having the delightfulness of all that charms my heart.  May my heart always long for you and find its nourishment in you, and may my inmost heart be filled with the sweetness of your savor.  May my heart thirst for you, the fountain of life and of wisdom and of knowledge and of eternal life, the torrent of pleasure, and the richness of the house of God.

May my heart always draw near to you, seek you, catch sight of you, be drawn to you, and arrive at your presence.  May my heart think of you, speak of you, and do all things that it does for the glory of your name, with humility and care and affection and delight, with eagerness and with deep feeling, and with perseverance to the end.  Thus may you alone always be my hope, all my confidence, my joy, my rest and my tranquility, my peace, all that charms me; my fragrance, my sweetness, my food, my nourishment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession, my treasure.  In you may my mind and my heart be fixed and secure and rooted forever without any change.  Amen (Daily Roman Missal, Third Edition, 2010, pp. 2320-21).

Novena…  Dear St. Bonaventure, cardinal, bishop, and doctor of the Church, you chose a life that embraced mortification and great humiliation.  Choosing to serve those individuals who were rejected and sick, you risked illness for yourself.  You made your life a continuous prayer and spent hours meditating on the wounds of Christ.  Please pray for us that we may have a sincere and humble heart.  Pray that we may not lose sight of Jesus’s wounds and, thus, walk on the straight path to eternal salvation.  May we take a great many souls with us to our heavenly Father.

St. Bonaventure, you were known to say, “One should carefully beware of decreasing, even in the slightest, the honor that is due to Mary.”  May we strive, as you did, to love our Blessed Mother and be carriers of her peace in this world.  Please place our petitions… in the loving hands of our Blessed Mother, as we know they will be warmly received by her Son.  Amen.

Pray one Hail Mary after each recitation of the novena.

To the Holy Spirit…  Lord Jesus, as God’s Spirit came down and rested upon you, may the same Spirit rest on us, bestowing his sevenfold gifts.  First, grant us the gift of understanding, by which your precepts may enlighten our minds.  Second, grant us counsel, by which we may follow in your footsteps on the path of righteousness.  Third, grant us courage, by which we may ward off the enemy’s attacks.  Fourth, grant us knowledge, by which we can distinguish good from evil.  Fifth, grant us piety, by which we may acquire compassionate hearts.  Sixth, grant us fear, by which we may draw back from evil and submit to what is good.  Seventh, grant us wisdom, that we may taste fully the life-giving sweetness of your love.

July 15, 2014

“In everything, whether it is a thing sensed or a thing known, God himself is hidden within” (St. Bonaventure).

February 3, 2015

“Although you feel tepid, approach with confidence; for the greater your infirmity, the more you stand in need of a physician” (St. Bonaventure).

July 15, 2015

“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary” (St. Bonaventure).

July 15, 2016

“That heart is free which is held by… the love of God” (St. Bonaventure).

May 29, 2017

“Lord Jesus Christ, pierce my soul with your love, so that I may always long for you alone, who are the bread of angels, and the fulfillment of the soul’s deepest desires”
(St. Bonaventure).

June 21, 2017

“That heart is free which is held by… the love of God” (St. Bonaventure).

July 15, 2017

“Since happiness is nothing other than the enjoyment of the highest good… no one can be happy unless he rises above himself not by an ascent of the body, but of the heart” (St. Bonaventure).

July 18, 2018

“Every great story happened when someone decided not to give up” (Spryte Loriano).



Links of interest…  Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph: ministries / weekly re:cap…  Franciscan saints calendar…  God’s doorkeepers: Padre Pio, Solanus Casey, & André Bessette (Joel Schorn)…  Mt. Elliott Cemetery…  Solanus Casey Center: Beatitude people (videos) / home / shrine / virtual tour…  St. André Bessette: feast / miracle man of Montreal, wisdom, & wondrous miracles…  St. Bonaventure: about (more) / author / biography / centered on Christchapel / doctor / feast day (Dec 1st) / keeping Jesus as model / memorial / mystical prayer / patron saint / prayer (seven gifts of the Holy Spirit) / theologian / thanksgiving…  This beautiful church was a gift from Slovakia to Icelandic Catholics…  Venerable Solanus Casey: about / blog / books / cards / Capuchin / doorkeeper / ecards / “favors” / garden (paver) / guild / legacy / meets Father Flanagan, SOLT / memorial / message / mystic / novena / opening the door to miracles / ordination / photos / pilgrims & porters / prayer / priest / relic badge / saint / saintmaker / simple man / story / venerable / vocation…  Visit to Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey (blog post)…

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Capuchin church stations…  Franciscan experience…  Franciscan treasures…  God’s master plan…  Grapes of generosity…  Holy relics…  Lady of sorrows…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  Mercy and justice…  My Franciscan Crown…  Powerful intercessor…  Prayer…  Prayers and blessings…  Saint of miracles…  Saintly connections…  Si quaeris miracula…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  St. Anthony…  St. Elizabeth Church…  St. Felix…  St. Peregrine relic…  Stella Maris…  Today’s Beatitudes…  Tony’s big day

8 Responses

  1. I know, I have been busy too…

    I am almost at my wits end, but somehow I keep going. Must be Jesus giving me the strength to carry on. In fact, I know there will be a good end to the dilemma I’m facing!

    Enough of the doom and gloom, how are you and yours? I wish you all a happy and joyous day!! Try to take your workload a bit at a time, less Octopus and more Deli time!!

    • Heya, kiddo! I hear you! May your situation be resolved expeditiously, fairly, kindly, as this, too, will pass.

      As always it’s sooo good to hear from you! Believe it or not, I rescued your comment from spam. Like, OMG! Why was it misdirected after all the jabbering we do? Good thing I looked before deleting, eh? Or maybe that’s symbolic of your present dilemma’s going away, literally and figuratively? My thoughts and prayers are with you.

      As for being wholly immersed in Octopus Mode… Um, yeah. And it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. But, as my mother told me at age five, “Idle hands are the work of the devil.” So whaddaya think of them apples, eh?

      Take care, lovely lady, and give yourself a Texas-sized hug or three for me!

  2. Looks like your trip was worth it in the end. Anything difficult or tiring is usually worth the effort! Just said the novena and will pray again later. Keep the tentacles moving!!

    • Heya, kid! Looks like you’ve been in Octopus Mode, too, blogging recipes left and right. Wow! And you changed your gravatar, you little mover and shaker, you! Your exuberance warms my soul. You go, girl!!!

      • Awww.. Thanks Deli…

      • You’re a sweetheart, Dinie. I wish you lived nearby, so I could visit your house or shop and spend time seeing you experimenting in the kitchen and talking up a storm. I think we’d have great fun!

      • I think so, too. How are things? Any more trips for the month? Or are you leaving it nearer to Christmas?

      • Dinie, you make me laugh, smile, chuckle. You see, I’ve got sooo many unwritten posts… and photos “to go with,” as Steven would say… that I shudder to think of any more trips. As in, oh, nooo! That’d mean more photos and more to write about that I’d just add to my “Pending” file on my external drive. Yes, believe it. Too many to keep on my computer’s hard drive. Still, I’m always game for new sites and more adventures. Aren’t you?

        I’m wishing you a peaceful, productive, happy day, Dinie, Dinie, with the beautiful smiling face.

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