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Bishop Fulton Sheen presents an illustrated theology lesson on his TV show, Life is Worth Living, on Dec. 13, 1954. Everett Collection/Newscom

By Michael Heinlein, Editor, OSV’s Simply Catholic, September 13, 2019

It’s a big year for Archbishop Fulton Sheen and all who love him. It all began in June with the long-awaited transfer of his remains from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to Peoria’s Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception. In July, an alleged miracle attributed to his intercession was approved by the pope, clearing the way for his beatification, which is expected sometime in 2020.

This December will mark the 40th anniversary of his death. This month marks the centennial of Sheen’s ordination to the priesthood — Sept. 20 — and next May will mark the 125th anniversary of his birth. In celebration of these milestones, Our Sunday Visitor offers a brief synopsis of the life of this popular televangelist and his mark on the world today.

Early Life

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Fulton J. Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois, on May 8, 1895, and raised in nearby Peoria. Sheen commuted into town from the family farm to attend St. Mary’s Cathedral parish school and then went to high school at the diocesan Spalding Institute a few blocks away. He then attended St. Viator’s College near Kankakee, Illinois, where he excelled academically and graduated as valedictorian of his class. Sheen recalled in his autobiography that there was never a time that he could recall not wanting to be a priest. Before his ordination to the priesthood on Sept. 20, 1919, in Peoria, Sheen attended seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. ….

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