Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) was a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States of America. He is famed for his work on radio and television bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church through modern day media. He famously hosted “The Catholic Hour” on national station NBC. But his most famous programme was entitled “Life is worth living” during which the bishop would use a blackboard and chalk to talk through the moral issues of the day. So relevant is the message he shared that he gathered an audience in excess of 30 million people and videos from the series can be found on Youtube even today. In addition to his work on radio and television he also authored a number of books.
Fulton J. Sheen was ordained to the priesthood in Peoria Cathedral in 1919. He quickly became a renowned theologian, and won the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He taught theology and philosophy at the Catholic University of America before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He was made Bishop of Rochester in 1966 and upon his retirement he was made Archbishop of the titular see of Newport, Wales. During his retirement he came to Newport and visited the church of St. Mary’s.
The cause for his Canonisation was opened in 2002. In 2012 Pope Benedict XVI officially recognised his life of “heroic virtue” declaring him Venerable. On 6th June 2019 Pope Francis gave recognition to a miracle received through the intercession of the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. The date for Beatification is yet to be confirmed.
Given his connection with our city and our parish, we call on all parishioners and friends to support the cause through prayer. My he be raised through the Grace of God to the Altar of the Saints.