Archbishop Fulton John Sheen: Venerable
The Eternal Word Television Network still continues to air his Emmy-winning show, over a dozen of his books still remain in print, his anthologies are still being promoted, and he is still converting souls. During his lifetime he won converts such as automaker Henry Ford II, author Clare Boothe Luce, ex-Communist Louis Budenz, former communist spy, Elizabeth T. Bentley, and the innumerable thousands of those who came into the Church as told by letters he received. Fulton John Sheen was once asked by Pope Pius XII about how many converts he brought to the faith. His answer was, “Your Holiness, I have never counted them. I am always afraid if I did count them, I might think I made them, instead of the Lord."
Due to his heroic virtues on earth, the late Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, is now declare “venerable” in the Catholic Church. On June 28th, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced that this servant of God may now be venerated by all the faithful and therefore paves the way for declaration of this man’s sainthood. Before beatification, a miracle by the intercession of Venerable Fulton John Sheen must be recognized by the Church.
Fulton John Sheen: His Life of ServiceSheen earned a Ph.D. in philosophy of the highest honor and won the admiration of G. K. Chesterton after writing a prize-winning book. He was a professor at Catholic University and taught philosophy and theology from 1926 to 1950. During this time Fulton John Sheen appeared on a nationally broadcast radio program called “Catholic Hour”, which poured in about 6,000 letters a day and listeners donated funds to the show. NBC grew 118 stations from a 17 stations, giving Sheen an about 7 million listeners.
Sheen became bishop and hosted his Emmy winning program “Life is Worth Living” which reached up to 30 million viewers and drew viewers from other networks. With his increased pay, all of his money went to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for which he headed and founded their magazine, Mission. This society donated $200 million for 135,000 missionaries abroad. The show broadcasted across 170 stations in the U.S. and 17 in Canada generating 15,000 to 25,000 letters per day from more non-Catholics than Catholics.
As Sheen said of his media experience, “Little did I know in those days that it would be given to me through radio and television to address a greater audience in half an hour than Paul did in all the years of his missionary life.”
Throughout his life, Fulton John Sheen progressed in writing 66 books, contributing countless articles and newspaper columns and preaching throughout the world. Although he was concerned for worldly issues as well, Sheen was a supernaturalist above all, believing that God is love, miracles happen, and the Church spoke the truth about life and death.
Fulton John Sheen: Relevant to the New EvangelizationToday Pope Benedict XVI calls for the New Evangelization, re-evangelizing through the new media methods of the post-Christian biblical society. We are faced with a society that is inundated licentious behavior at the touch of a button anywhere and anytime, technology that makes a self-seeking lifestyle convenient at the expense of life, and religion is left on the backburner.
The archbishop, Fulton John Sheen, was one of the greatest communicators of the 20th century. He gave the world a glimpse of what is needed to evangelize the light of Christ on this new generation. He spoke out about Christ and his Church and gave courage to those of a godless regime to convert. He evangelized through all possible mediums until his death in December 1979.
Fulton John Sheen: A Life Well ServedOnly a few months before his death, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen met his Holy Father John Paul II. As he embraced Sheen at the sanctuary of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City before a roaring crowd, John Paul II said to the archbishop, “"You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a loyal son of the Church." Receiving those endearing words of confirmation of a life well served, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen died December 9, in his chapel before the Blessed Sacrament.
Employed as a hub for the Catholic Young Adult presence online, Cathopillar connects Truth seekers to Catholic online resources and serves the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church in the mission of the New Evangelization with Truth and Love.