Fr. Solanus Casey and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen

Bread basket  1942e copy

Author: Br. Jerry Johnson 

With the announcement of the Beatification of our Capuchin friar Solanus Casey on November 18 at Ford Field, I’ve had a lot of people ask what this means for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. When I see the old black and white photos of the long lines of people that waited to see Fr. Solanus what I’m reminded of is how much people suffer in our world. The Beatification is, in many ways, a very public acknowledgment of the amount of suffering that people face and a challenge to all of us to try to respond in some faith-filled way to what we ourselves and/or what others are going through. It might be checking in on a neighbor in need; carefully listening (like Fr. Solanus) to what someone is going through; or maybe questioning tendencies in policies in education, transportation, housing, and health care that might perpetuate some types suffering. And we ask for God’s help to find this healing.

The odds sound overwhelming, but I really like an old A.A. saying, “Do the next right thing.” I find this comforting. The other comforting notion is that from its very beginning in 1929, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen was a collaboration of volunteers, community leaders, donors, people praying for the poor, friars, and all sorts of people trying to respond to the suffering brought on by the Great Depression. That teamwork continues today. Fr. Solanus didn’t individually begin the soup kitchen, but he was there as a key part of the team that brought it about. Much like today, where the soup kitchen doesn’t rest on the work of any one person, but rather a large assortment of people working and struggling together to “do the next right thing”.


Wish List:

  • $70,000: any donation towards a new roof at Jefferson House is appreciated.
  • $10,000: 40 Gallon Steam Kettle for Meldrum Kitchen
  • $4,000: Central Air for “On the Rise” bakers’ 12-man residence
  • Childrens’ clothes (we have plenty of women’s clothes)
  • backpacks, men’s and women’s underwear and socks for shower program.