Long before Marie Kathryn Reilly, the future Sister Marie Solanus, was born, her mother, Marie Riley, was riding in a Detroit streetcar when she saw what she took to be a church and decided to go inside. She had moved to Detroit to live with her cousin following the tragic death of her fiancé, and her sadness was immense when she walked into that building seeking solace.
It was there that she met Father Solanus Casey, who told her, “God has other plans for you. You are going to meet a very tall Irishman who you will marry and have a happy life.”
Father Solanus’ prophecy came true. When Marie was invited to dinner by a friend, that friend had invited a tall Irishman named Edward to dinner as well. The result, as Sister Marie Solanus wrote in her life story, “was a marriage, three children, a shared deep faith and a lasting friendship with Father Solanus.”
Marie Kathryn, born on July 23, 1933, was the youngest of three children, following Edward and Anne. Anne was born with spina bifida, but on the way to a specialist to be measured for a full body cast, her parents stopped to see Father Solanus, who told them their little daughter would not need the cast. Again, his words turned out to be accurate. In fact, a miraculous healing of her spina bifida even occurred before her next doctor’s appointment, following yet another meeting with Father Solanus.
Given those connections with the man who in 2017 would become Blessed Solanus, it was only natural that years later when Marie Kathryn was received into the Congregation it was with the religious name Sister Marie Solanus.
Read more about Sister Marie Solanus (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).
I have many fond memories of Sister Marie Solanus's contributions to the first Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) , where it was an honor to serve with her. She brought her wisdom, calm presence, and banking expertise to a newly formed committee that was in the midst of defining role and function for the Congregation. Her wonderful Irish wit was a much appreciated asset as well! Rest in peace, dear Marie... Your legacy lives on!
Aunt Rea was a saint in my eyes. She devoted her life to the Lords will. Putting everyone's well being above her own health. Survived by all that have been blessed in her presence, Marie now rests in the company of loved ones lost. Heaven awaits the blessed and, we all await the day we can deserve the paradise you now reside in. Let the love of the Lord guide us to sit beside you in Heaven. Saint Rea watch over us and lead us to the righteousness that is your will. Pray that we may see the light beyond all that is evil. Give us the strength to move past the loss of a loved one and delight in the promise of the life beyond. -Amen
Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
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