Fulton J. Sheen declared Venerable by the Pope

Although news and discussion about the Supreme Court’s decision is the main news topic of the day, there’s another news item that deserves mention: Fulton J. Sheen has been declared venerable by the Pope. With a miracle having already been submitted to the Vatican for review, it is not unlikely that Sheen will soon (soon in Vatican time, mind you) be beatified. 

This is an occasion of great rejoicing for me personally. Although far too young to have watched his Emmy-winning television show, It was Sheen’s Life of Christ that challenged me to become more than a cultural Catholic and and exposed me to some of the depths of Catholic theology. Sheen’s gift for distilling complicated Catholic teachings and presenting them to a broad audience was impressive; managing to keep those messages challenging to his audience & keeping that audience tuning was amazing. Moreover, Sheen was an unapologetic American, though always a Catholic first (he condemned the use of the atomic bomb). He was known for wearing full clerics, including his garb as bishop, into heavily Protestant areas.

The timing of his being declared venerable is impeccable. With the news today that the Church will have to fight the HHS mandate in the courts Fulton J. Sheen’s intercession is particularly important. Sheen provides us an example of an American who brought the Catholic faith unapologetically to the American people, showing that Catholicism could not only be tolerated by the American project but also that Catholicism had the potential to provide important and unique contributions to American society.

That is precisely the argument the Church needs to win in our time. It is not enough to win legal decisions striking down the mandate; we need to do more than convince the American people that Catholicism should be left alone to do whatever wacky things. Rather, we need to demonstrate that Catholicism brings something to our troubled times; that the teachings of the Church are not antiquated but rather provide a vibrant thriving message for happiness in the 21st century.

Whatever battles lie ahead for the Church in America, the intercession of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen will be invaluable. Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, ora pro nobis.

 

13 Responses to Fulton J. Sheen declared Venerable by the Pope

  • Although far too young to have watched his Emmy-winning television show, It was Sheen’s Life of Christ that challenged me to become more than a cultural Catholic and and exposed me to some of the depths of Catholic theology. Sheen’s gift for distilling complicated Catholic teachings and presenting them to a broad audience was impressive; managing to keep those messages challenging to his audience & keeping that audience tuning was amazing.

    You forgot that he had an amazing voice. I’ve played his stuff on youtube, and had my formerly-agnostic husband come over and listen in silence.

  • This is awesome news. One thing my parents agreed on was their admiration of Fulton Sheen.

  • “Whatever battles lie ahead for the Church in America, the intercession of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen will be invaluable. Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, ora pro nobis.”

    Amen!

  • Good luck on the bar Michael. Thirty years ago I was studying for the Bar. I think I learned more from the Barbri course than I did in three years of law school!

  • One evening in the mid-1950’s I met Venerable Fulton J. Sheen in St. Patrick’s.

    Mother (RIP) and Grandmother (RIP) were thrilled: unforgettable. My young brother, John, was running amok and they were calling for him.

    Bishop Sheen told us, “My mother called me John.”

    I was also able (privileged) to visit and pray with his mortal remains in St. Patrick’s when he was born into eternal life.

  • I’m happy to hear this. If there is one person, besides Jesus Himself, it is Bishop Sheen who has kept my from going off the reservation totally. I still watch his sermons on EWTN and they are as relevant today as ever. I’ve read his autobiography, “Treasure in Clay,” every couple of years and find it is the best antidote to Hitchens’ “god is not great” and Mencken’s “Treatise on the Gods.”

  • I was a little girl and would watch Bishop Sheen on TV with my mom. My mom always made time for his program. I catch replays of his sermons on Relevant Radio here in MN. I too think praying for his intercession would be a good thing. Also, I’m going to read his autobiography.

  • When we, the people, are free again as a nation, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen may be credited with another miracle, the big one for canonization.

  • Venerable Fulton Sheen was a truly holy man. For those who would like to learn about their faith in a deeper sense, I would reccomend two works. The first is a book, “Those Mysterious Priest” and the second is a retreat that he gave to priests in the 1970’s, “Cor Ad Cor Loquitor”(Heart Speaks to Heart). These two works will clarify the depth and beauty of our Church. Also always remember that Bishop Sheen always downplayed his importance and claimed all he did and said were possible through the Daily Holy Hour, he never missed. Try and get a Day of Adoration started in your parishes and pray for Sheen’s intercession, it will be successful and most rewarding.

  • Archbishop Sheen was a brilliant communicator, and, when listening to his talks, I never cease to be impressed and the power of his words and logic.

    I have been working my way through a 50 CD collection of his talks that is published by St. Joseph communications.

    Information on the the CD collection can be found here for those that are interested:
    http://www.saintjoe.com/prodinfo.asp?number=45

  • In the fall of 1962 a group of seminarian types including me met briefly with Uncle Fultie after mass outside the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in D. C. We expected another round–he had just delivered a rip roaring homily–of Sheen eloquence. The good bishop didn’t disappoint: Squinting at the circle of aspiring priests that eyed him with baited breaths, he said simply: “Fight the Devil.” And with a swoosh of his cape he turned and walked into the sunset. OK, ok, but there should have been a sunset.

  • And with a swoosh of his cape he turned and walked into the sunset. OK, ok, but there should have been a sunset.

    <3

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