Peoria Prepares for the Beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, by Joseph Pronechen

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Archbishop Fulton Sheen will be declared ‘Blessed’ in his home Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, Dec. 21. (Main photo courtesy of Sister Marlene Brownette via the Diocese of Peoria; other photos from the Diocese of Rochester Archives and the Archbishop Sheen Foundation)

Surprise, joy mark the holy priest’s hometown’s efforts ahead of the blessed event for the local Church and beyond.

By Joseph Pronechen, National Catholic Register, 11/26/19

PEORIA, Ill. — “I was amazed and so relieved it was going to be happening. It will be a joy, and we can’t wait. We’ve looked forward to this for years,” Bonnie Engstrom told the Register hours after the Diocese of Peoria announced on Nov. 18 the Vatican’s date for the beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen.

The Dec. 21 beatification has been much anticipated by Fulton Sheen devotees like Bonnie and Travis Engstrom, whose son James Fulton was miraculously restored to life and health through the intercession of Bishop Fulton Sheen. His miraculous cure was unanimously accepted by the Holy See for Archbishop Sheen’s beatification.

Engstrom said James Fulton, who turned 9 years old in September, is both “excited and a little nervous. He knows there will be a lot of eyes on him.” The Engstrom children “are excited” — all eight — to go to the local cathedral for the beatification.

Engstrom told the Register she feels Archbishop Sheen is “a steady presence in our lives and in our prayers. He’s been very reliable for me, someone who I can turn to, especially as James grows. He’s been a good friend.”….

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