Wednesday 28th September 2022

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

February 9, 2021 saints No Comments

By DEB PIROCH

“We have almost forgotten that we are in a great mortal combat; the forces of good and the forces of evil. Today we are beginning either to domesticate the devil or to deny him” — Fulton J. Sheen.
Before there was EWTN with Mother Angelica, there was Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. The Venerable Sheen is proof that Catholic orthodoxy is dynamic, popular, and riveting. The priest who was born before the advent of broadcasting would go on to be a radio, then a television “star,” which only God could have foreseen. When network executives one day placed his television show prime time opposite Milton Berle, he wiped him in the ratings, the source of many jokes on both sides. Sheen would go on to air on over a hundred stations just with his one show alone, Life Is Worth Living, and sometimes to as many as 30 million viewers.
Born in the nineteenth century (1895), Sheen was the eldest of four brothers, the second generation born in the U.S. of Irish immigrant farmers. Like so many saints of the past, he was sickly, having contracted TB as an infant. One account states Fulton was his mother’s maiden name. In his book, A Treasure in Clay, he states his family started referring to him as “Fulton’s baby” as a family joke, he cried so much as an infant. His given name, Peter John Sheen, evolved to Fulton J. Sheen, as a result.
Sheen knew from a young age, however, that he had a calling to be a priest, serving as an altar boy, valedictorian of his high school class in Peoria, Ill., going on to St. Paul’s Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained in 1919, just after the end of the “Great War.” He continued studying next at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., going abroad next to earn doctorates first in Belgium at Leuven’s Catholic University and next at Rome’s Angelicum. At this point he was fluent in French and went to England, teaching a year at St. Edmund’s in Ware, the oldest post-Reformation school of its kind.
At the same time, he was posted at St. Patrick’s Church in Soho and could have continued teaching in places like Oxford, only he was called back to Illinois by his bishop in 1926. It was, in part, to test his obedience. No fault was found!
The next year he was sent to Washington, D.C., where he began teaching at the Catholic University of America.
Around this time he also began writing the first of the approximately 70 books he would write during his long lifetime. G.K. Chesterton wrote the introduction to the book, God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy. In 1930 he began a new project, serving as a host for radio’s “The Catholic Hour,” a show which lasted 22 years, an eternity on radio. He only left to become auxiliary bishop in New York, when he also switched to television and hosting, Life is Worth Living.

Shows And More

The Catholic Hour/Radio (1930-1952)
Life Is Worth Living (1952-1957)
The Best of Bishop Sheen (1958-1961)
The Fulton Sheen Program (1961-1968)
Easter Sunday Mass (1940) — First televised religious service
Head, Society for the Propagation of the Faith (1958-1966)
Ministr-O-Media, cassette distribution ministry founded in 1974

Sheen had a great gift for rhetoric. Indeed, he had studied speaking with a voice instructor while in Rome. His use of tone, emphasis, volume, silence, and resonance, all timed beautifully with his subject matter, held the listener or viewer captive. His speaking approach was a mix of humor and drama, and he spoke extemporaneously. He would rehearse thirty hours for a single hour-long program. Below Sheen is speaking of God’s grace described in St. Thomas Aquinas. As he explains, we can do nothing without God in our fallen state, not even avoid sin; we must therefore be all the more open and cooperate with His grace to merit what God sees fit to bestow on us.
“[Said with great emphasis] Gratia gratum faciens. That which makes us pleasing to God. Take for instance one of the charisms. Take preaching. Now I can preach. God gave me power, He gave me that gift; He gave me that charism. Because I preach Christ, because I preach the love of Christ, it’s very easy for people to say, ‘Bishop Sheen’s a holy man.’ Not at all! I’m not holy because I have the charism of preaching! Not in the least! I became holy before I get up and after I preached! I’m only exercising a gift that God gave me, that’s all. So, let no one become proud of these gifts…they pass away, St. Paul said.”
The archbishop once commented: “A Catholic who does not strive to spread his Faith is a parasite on the life of the Church.” He loved to preach to all faiths — indeed, he sought eagerly to win souls for Christ and — made many converts. Some were famous, from violinist Fritz Kreisler and writer Clare Boothe Luce, to unknown but equally important souls in the eyes of God. Those who tuned in to hear his broadcasts were of mixed faiths or his ratings would not have been nearly so high. Compare this to the “relevant” homilies of today; those who try to water down orthodoxy lose Catholics at their parishes, they do not gain them. In the end, the soul knows Truth when it hears it.
He was a strong opponent of Communism, words that are all the more relevant in today’s day and age where many left-leaning liberals feel socialism and Communism naively may be safely embraced at no cost to themselves.
He had a great love of the Blessed Sacrament, asking people in later years, “Why not spend a holy hour to make up for an abortion every 30 seconds.” It was his practice for over half a century. Writing in his book, A Treasure in Clay: On the Day of my Ordination, he said he made two resolutions:
“1. I would offer the Holy Eucharist every Saturday in honor of the Blessed Mother to solicit her protection on my priesthood. The Epistle to the Hebrews bids the priest offer sacrifices not only for others, but also for himself, since his sins are greater because of the dignity of the office.
“2. I resolved also to spend a continuous Holy Hour every day in the presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. In the course of my priesthood I have kept both of these resolutions. The Holy Hour had its origin in a practice I developed a year before I was ordained. The big chapel in St. Paul’s Seminary would be locked by six o’clock; there were still private chapels available for private devotions and evening prayers. This particular evening during recreation, I walked up and down outside the closed major chapel for almost an hour. The thought struck me — why not make a Holy Hour of adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament? The next day I began, and the practice is now well over sixty years old.”
By 1979, he had been suffering from heart trouble for some time and even undergone open heart surgery. On December 9, he was found in front of the Tabernacle, having passed away, praying in the presence of Our Lord.
Just two months before his death, he was surprised by a visit by Pope St. John Paul II, who embraced him and Fulton Sheen was visibly moved. And nine days later, he sent Sheen a letter to congratulate him on 60 faithful years in the priesthood.
As a final post-note, we know that John Paul II was the “Pope of Life.” Sheen also spoke on the sanctity of life, urging many to also spiritually adopt an unborn child so that he or she might not be aborted.
As President Biden has just reversed the Mexico City Policy first implemented under President Ronald Reagan (and expanded under President Donald Trump), American taxpayer funds will again be flowing abroad and worldwide for abortions. Why not spiritually adopt a child today and pray for the archbishop’s canonization, as well? Sheen’s prayer follows.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn child that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion” — Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
A miracle has been approved by Pope Francis, to move the way forward for the archbishop’s beatification date, which has yet to be set. The miracle involved a miraculous resurrection of a stillborn baby. Given the nature of the miracle, we would like to prayerfully dedicate this column to all those working to preserve the sanctity of human life, including the recently deceased Joseph Scheidler, RIP.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

">Great News for Italy. Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Giorgia Meloni’s electrifying speech at the World Congress of Families

Bishops, priests and scholars correct Pope Francis’ statement on Holy Communion

(LifeSiteNews) — Four bishops, several priests, and numerous Catholic scholars have signed a statement rebuking Pope Francis for a recent statement about the reception of Holy Communion, according to which “everyone is invited to the supper of the wedding of the Lamb (Re 19:9). To be admitted to the feast all that is required is the wedding garment of faith which comes from the hearing of his Word.” The Pope wrote these words in his…Continue Reading

A futuristic Nur-Sultan ready welcomes Pope Francis to Kazakhstan

As Pope Francis prepares to depart for Kazakhstan on Tuesday, our correspondent in Nur-Sultan takes a look at his upcoming participation in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, as well as the small Catholic community’s great joy to receive the Holy Father.

Joe Biden Calls MAGA Americans Violent, Ignores Leftist Violence Against Churches, Pregnancy Centers

Illuminated with blood-red lights, draped in inky shadows, and flanked by U.S. Marines, President Biden launched into an angry screed Thursday night, using dangerous and inciting rhetoric to attack so-called “MAGA Republicans.” It was a terrifying sight that drew praise and flowery language from the “journalists” of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 as they lauded the “full frontal attack” and asserted he was “reclaiming patriotism.” “President Biden finishing a 24-minute speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He said as…Continue Reading

Pope Francis creates 20 cardinals for the Catholic Church

Rome Newsroom, Aug 27, 2022 / 08:31 am Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals for the Catholic Church during a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday. “Jesus calls us by name; he looks us in the eye and he asks: Can I count on you?” Pope Francis said in a homily addressed to the College of Cardinals and its new members on Aug. 27. “The Lord,” he said, “wants to bestow on us his own…Continue Reading

Who Makes More Money In America?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The money earned by American households has grown enormously since 1967, when President Lyndon Baines Johnson was still in office and the hippie generation was celebrating its so-called Summer of Love.The median household income in the United States that year was $50,803 in constant 2021 dollars, according to the Census Bureau’s…Continue Reading

An Attack On Human Life . . . Pope Benedict Condemns “Intrinsic Evil” Of Abortion

By STEVEN ERTELT (LifeNews) — During his time as the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict was a consistent pro-life voice condemning the evil of abortion. In comments posted on Twitter the morning of September 21, Benedict XVI reminded people that abortion is evil and an attack on human life.He made it clear that…Continue Reading

Biden Is Losing The Race For The Cure

By STEPHEN MOORE President Joe Biden recently announced, with great fanfare, his Cancer Moonshot initiative. Biden used soaring and promising rhetoric about, at last, finding a cure for one of the world’s leading killers.Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on September 12, the president declared:“Beating cancer is something we…Continue Reading

Becoming Pro-Life The Hard Way

By DONALD DeMARCO “Aujourd’hui Maman est morte. Ou, hier, peut-etre; je ne sais pas.” (Today my mother died. Or was it yesterday, I don’t know.) + + This is the celebrated opening of Nobel Laureate Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger. It immediately establishes the main character as a person who, being emotionally unmoved by the…Continue Reading

The Queen: End Of An Era

By JOHN J. METLZER The Queen has died; the page of history has turned. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch, has shocked and saddened much of the world despite the sovereign’s declining health and her 96 years of age. Just months after having joyfully celebrated her platinum Jubilee commemorating 70 years…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

On Being Faithful In A Few Things . . . Before Being Ruler Over Many Things

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on September 17 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + I. Analysis of the Sinner — In the opening lines of the Gospel, Jesus describes a sinful steward.Delusion (of the sinner) — Jesus said to His disciples, “A rich man had a steward. . . .”Notice…Continue Reading

How Long, O Lord?

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time Readings:Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-42 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14Luke 17:5-10 The first reading today, from the Prophet Habakkuk, is very apropos for our time. As it was in his day, so too it is in ours: people crying to God for help, but nothing seems to happen; people crying out “violence,” but God does…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I don’t use rosary beads to say the rosary since I pray in the car or while doing gardening or housework. Is it okay to pray the rosary daily with my fingers? Also, I have seen pictures of St. Joseph with lilies, and I have been told that is the way he was chosen to be the husband of…Continue Reading

Future Bleak for Vatican II Mass

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK My parish is forced back into compliance with the “unique liturgical expression of the Roman rite” this month, as expressed by Pope Francis in Traditionis custodes, with the banning of the traditional Latin Mass in my as well as in other parish churches. This in order to open us to the full experience of the…Continue Reading

Crazy! . . . A Homily For The 24th Sunday Of The Year

(Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this on September 10 and it is posted here with permission.) + + The three parables in this Sunday’s lengthy Gospel challenge conventional thinking. They describe people doing things that we most likely would not do. All three of them — especially the first two — seem crazy. Who would ever do what the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By DEB PIROCH Apostle, Benedictine monk, first archbishop of Canterbury, and the founder of the First Eccliastical See in England, St. Augustine of Canterbury is not a name remembered by many Americans. But as England buries Queen Elizabeth II this week, we hear much of Her Majesty’s Christian faith. Without St. Augustine’s work, would Christianity in England exist at all…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bridget

By DEB PIROCH “Oh my friends, I love my sheep so tenderly that were it possible I would die many other times for each one of them that same death I suffered for the redemption of all” — Words attributed to Christ, Revelations of St. Bridget. + + In 1999, Pope St. John Paul II issued a moto proprio, making…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)