Fulton Sheen to be named Blessed

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With “overwhelming joy,” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria announced July 6, 2019, that Pope Francis had approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, announced on Monday 18 November that the Venerable Fulton J Sheen will be beatified in the Cathedral of Mary of the Immaculate Conception on 21 December; the same church that hosted Sheen’s priestly ordination a century ago. The move was approved by Pope Francis.

“It seems entirely fitting that the Beatification will take place at the end of this 100-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood,”

said a spokesperson from the Peoria diocese.

Sheen, a native of Illinois, was born in 1895 and was ordained at 24. He went on to become auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951 and then the Bishop of Rochester in 1966. Sheen died in New York City in 1979.

Sheen is perhaps most well known as a beloved television catechist in the 50’s and 60s in the United States with his show “Life is Worth Living’ reaching millions around the world. Many of his videos can still be viewed online and are popular among Catholics even today.

The diocese of Peoria opened the cause for Sheen’s canonisation in 2002. This year, on 6 July, The Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated a decree on a miracle related to Sheens intercession allowing for his beatification.

James Fulton Engstrom is held by his parents, Travis and Bonnie Engstrom, Sept. 7, 2011, at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria, Ill., as a tribunal began investigating the boy’s miraculous healing through the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. With them are Andrea Ambrosi, postulator of Archbishop Sheen’s sainthood cause, and Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky CSC PHOTO: CNS Jennifer Willems, The Catholic Post

The miracle occurred in September 2010.James Fulton Sheen Engstrom, an apparently stillborn baby showing no signs of life by medical professionals, came back to life after  his parents prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son.

In 2014, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria halted Sheen’s cause since the Holy See expected Sheen’s bodily remains to be in the Peoria diocese. His corpse was transferred to St Mary’s Cathderal, Peoria, on 27 June. Until then, Sheen was interred in the crypt of St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, looks on as Joan Sheen Cunningham, niece of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, sprinkles holy water on the new tomb bearing the remains of her uncle at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria June 27, 2019 PHOTO: CNS Jennifer Willems, The Catholic Post