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DETROIT - A businessman is donating $20 million to help expand a Catholic pilgrimage site in Detroit.
Art Van Elslander, founder of Art Van Furniture, is donating to the Solanus Casey Center, Crain’s Detroit Business reported. Interest in the center has increased since November when the late Father Solanus Casey was beatified and put on the path to sainthood.
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The center hopes to use the money to acquire city-owned property to create more parking space for the center, said Father David Preuss, the center’s director. The center is in negotiations for about 75 city-owned and privately owned properties. Officials also hope to build a cafe with outdoor seating, open green spaces for large gatherings, gardens, an outdoor votive chapel and housing for visitors of the center.
Van Elslander said the donation pays homage to his father’s friendship with Casey.
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“Growing up in Detroit, I remember my dad going to see Father Solanus when he needed help and guidance,” Van Elslander said. “Father Solanus still offers that hope...
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