Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be beatified in December

Fulton J. Sheen, then auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, in Oct. 1956. (Wikimedia Commons) 

PEORIA, Ill. (CNS) -- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be beatified Dec. 21, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria announced late Nov. 18.

He said the Vatican had just notified him of the beatification and he was announcing the news "with great joy and thanksgiving."

Advertisement

Plans for the beatification are already underway, the bishop said. The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. local time at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria.

"This is the same cathedral where (Archbishop) Sheen was ordained a priest 100 years ago on Sept. 20, 1919," said a Peoria diocesan news release. "It seems entirely fitting that the beatification will take place at the end of this 100-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood."

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

The cathedral also is the current resting place for the archbishop, who is entombed in a marble vault next to the altar where he was ordained.

The diocese planned to release more information about the beatification over the next few days. News about the beatification and the life of Archbishop Sheen can be found at celebratesheen.com.

In July, Bishop Jenky announced Pope Francis had approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Sheen, leading the way to his beatification.

The miracle concerns the healing of James Fulton Engstrom of Washington, Illinois, who was considered stillborn when he was delivered during a planned home birth Sept. 16, 2010. His parents, Bonnie and Travis Engstrom, immediately invoked the prayers of Archbishop Sheen and encouraged others to seek his intercession after the baby was taken to OSF HealthCare St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria for emergency treatment.

Just as doctors were preparing to declare that he was dead, James Fulton's tiny heart started to beat at a normal rate for a healthy newborn. He had been without a pulse for 61 minutes.

Despite dire prognoses for his future, including that he would probably be blind and never walk, talk or be able to feed himself, the child has thrived. Now a healthy 8-year-old, he likes chicken nuggets, "Star Wars" and riding his bicycle.

The decree of the miracle came about a week after Archbishop Sheen's remains were transferred from New York to Peoria's cathedral.

"It is truly amazing how God continues to work miracles," Bishop Jenky said in the statement about the papal decree on the miracle.

Archbishop Sheen had been placed in a crypt below the main altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York after his death Dec. 9, 1979. After protracted legal proceedings, his remains were brought to Peoria June 27 at the request of his niece, Joan Sheen Cunningham, and now rest in a new marble tomb in the Peoria cathedral.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

Advertisement
More: Saints / Bishops

The latest from america

Join us as we offer daily scripture reflections for the entire Advent season.
Elizabeth Kirkland CahillDecember 05, 2019
Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo in Rome on Nov. 12. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Malone and named Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany, N.Y., as Buffalo's apostolic administrator. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
After the resignation of Bishop Malone, the path forward for the diocese of Buffalo looks long and arduous, writes Canisius College president John J. Hurley, but the Advent season brings hope.
John J. HurleyDecember 04, 2019
Kathryn Jean Lopez on her career, her new book and her ongoing drift from conservative politics to Catholic spirituality.
Sean Salai, S.J.December 04, 2019