Thursday, March 14, 2013


Since we gained a new Pope on Wednesday, I thought the League of Themselves showcase should feature the greatest Catholic cleric in Toobworld.....


From Wikipedia:
Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of "heroic virtues" - a major step towards beatification - so he is now referred to as "Venerable".

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966 to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport, Wales.

For 20 years he hosted the night-time radio program "The Catholic Hour" (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting 'Life Is Worth Living' (1951–1957). Sheen's final presenting role was on the syndicated 'The Fulton Sheen Program' (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier 'Life is Worth Living' show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, the only personality appearing on the DuMont Network ever to win a major Emmy award.

Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network's Church Channel cable networks. Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.

In 1951 he began a weekly television program on the DuMont Television Network titled 'Life Is Worth Living'. Filmed at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City, the program consisted of the unpaid Sheen simply speaking in front of a live audience without a script or cue cards, occasionally using a chalkboard.

The show, scheduled in a graveyard slot on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m., was not expected to challenge the ratings giants Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra, but did surprisingly well. Berle joked, "He uses old material, too", and observed that "[i]f I'm going to be eased off the top by anyone, it's better that I lose to the One for whom Bishop Sheen is speaking." Sheen responded in jest that people should start calling him "Uncle Fultie".

Life and Time magazine ran feature stories on Bishop Sheen. The number of stations carrying Life Is Worth Living jumped from three to fifteen in less than two months. There was fan mail that flowed in at a rate of 8,500 letters per week. There were four times as many requests for tickets than could be fulfilled. Admiral, the sponsor, paid the production costs in return for a one minute commercial at the opening of the show and another minute at the close. In 1952, Sheen won an Emmy Award for his efforts, accepting the acknowledgment by saying, "I feel it is time I pay tribute to my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John." Time called him "the first 'televangelist'", and the Archdiocese of New York could not meet the demand for tickets.

One of his best-remembered presentations came in February 1953, when he forcefully denounced the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin. Sheen gave a dramatic reading of the burial scene from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, substituting the names of Caesar, Cassius, Mark Antony, and Brutus with those of prominent Soviet leaders Stalin, Lavrenty Beria, Georgy Malenkov, and Andrey Vyshinsky. He concluded by saying, "Stalin must one day meet his judgment." The dictator suffered a stroke a few days later and died within a week.

The show ran until 1957, drawing as many as 30 million people on a weekly basis. In 1958, Sheen became national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, serving for eight years before being appointed Bishop of Rochester, New York, on October 26, 1966. He also hosted a nationally-syndicated series, 'The Fulton Sheen Program', from 1961 to 1968 (first in black and white and then in color). The format of this series was essentially the same as 'Life Is Worth Living'.

'Life Is Worth Living'
'The Fulton Sheen Program'

BCnU, Amen!

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