Fulton Sheen and the Playfulness of the Gospel

14 April 2015

Posted on April 14, 2015 by: Br. Innocent Smith, O.P. at Dominica Blog


This post is the second part of a series on Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

St. Philip Neri once remarked to a Dominican friar, “All that I have of good I owe to your fathers of San Marco.” Could the same be said of Fulton Sheen?

In his autobiography, Sheen speaks movingly (and amusingly) about his friendship with a certain Fr. Smith:

fjs quotes

While it would perhaps be going too far to attribute all of Fulton Sheen’s goodness to Ignatius Smith, it is striking to note the aspect of joy and good humor that Sheen associates with Smith. (Although Sheen doesn’t give any specific examples, one story that is part of the oral tradition at the Dominican House of Studies is that Ignatius Smith, a talented organist, would occasionally slip in a few bars of “Goodnight Ladies” into the recessional as the good Sisters were departing from Sunday Vespers.) Ignatius Smith was able to share a sense of joy with his friend, which Sheen in turn passed on to his students. Entering the classroom laughing, Sheen could give the whole classroom the opportunity to get in on the joke.

For St. Thomas Aquinas, the great master of Fulton Sheen and Ignatius Smith alike, the virtue of eutrapelia (playfulness or pleasantness) is necessary in order to have a proper balance in our lives and to avoid the soul becoming overburdened with seriousness. As Sheen writes in his autobiography, “[T]here is a close relationship between faith and humor. We say of those who lack a sense of humor that they are ‘too thick’; that means they are opaque like a brick wall. Humor, on the contrary, is ‘seeing through’ things like a windowpane. Materialists, humanists, and atheists all take this world very seriously because it is the only world they are ever going to have. He who possesses faith knows that this world is not the only one, and therefore can be regarded rather lightly.”

We are but pilgrims in this present world, journeying to our heavenly homeland. But we have a choice: we can be like whining children, grating the ears of their parents in the front seats with cries of “are we there yet?”—or we can entertain our fellow pilgrims with humor and good cheer.

Image: Archbishop Fulton Sheen blessing Dominican missionaries to Lebanon and Pakistan (Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C., August 31, 1956)

Thank you to Dominica Blog. Please visit there for so much more on Fulton J Sheen and other authentically Catholic reading.

Fulton Sheen Week! It’s ON!

13 April 2015

Posted on April 13, 2015 by: The Editor at Dominicana Blog


This week, The Catholic University of America is hosting “Archbishop Fulton Sheen Week.” As his cause for beatification is underway, the University chose this year to celebrate Sheen’s life, as 2015 marks the 75th Anniversary of Sheen’s first television appearance (Easter Sunday, 1940, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City). At that time, Sheen was celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Catholic Hour Radio Show. He would later go on to host a television series, Life Is Worth Living, a major step for the Church in evangelization through media.

Dominicana Journal will be publishing blog posts on Sheen this week, in conjunction with CUA’s efforts to celebrate his life and promote his cause. A full schedule of events at CUA can be found here, as well as a video archive of Sheen’s time at the University and elsewhere.

Recordings of Sheen’s Life is Worth Living series are available here (in mp3) or you can download the app!

Image: Sheen at prayer

The Battle Over Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s Body via @CatholicLisa

5 September 2014

posted at LisaGraas.com
5 September 2014 A.D.


Yesterday, I posted Bishop Jenky’s statement about the suspension of the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. The Vatican has weighed in saying that the suspension is expected to be temporary, and so has the Archdiocese of New York. What jumps out at me in the statement from the Archdiocese of New York are the conditions set forth which all appear to be based ultimately on the fact that “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen expressly stated his desire that his remains be buried in New York.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan did express a hesitance in exhuming the body, unless the Congregation for the Causes of Saints directed that it be done, unless the process was approved by the family, that it be done modestly and reverently, and that the exhumation met the requirements of New York State law. He consulted with the family, who gave their approval if it would help advance the cause.

Cardinal Dolan is personally hesitant, ultimately based on Sheen’s “expressly stated desire,” and that is actually where the disagreement on the matter is rooted, as I will explain below.
First, let’s look over Cardinal Dolan’s specific conditions. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints certainly has no objection to the body being moved. Archbishop Sheen was ordained in the Diocese of Peoria and it is the Diocese of Peoria which is leading his cause for sainthood. According to the Archdiocese of New York, the family does not object to moving his body “if it would help advance the cause.” New York State law cannot trump religious freedom, so citing New York State law seems both erroneous and dangerous to the cause of religious freedom. I imagine that the Vatican is not ordering the body to be moved because they believe that Cardinal Dolan should decide on his own that it is the right thing to do and is just waiting for him to come to that realization in his own time. The rest of us are quite impatient with him because it is so clearly the right thing to do.

The reason that it is the right thing to do and the reason that the faithful are so angry at Cardinal Dolan over this has to do with how we weigh “right” and “wrong” in the context of Church teaching on sainthood, sacrifice and the human body.

For the rest of the best post please click HERE

Novena to end on Fulton Sheen’s Birthday May 8th

29 April 2011

Here at AlwaysCatholic.com we always end Editorial comments and personal messages from Sofia with the exhortation, “God Love you!”

This was the phrase which was used by the holy, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen whenever he met with people on the streets of NYC or from the studios of his TV show, “Life is Worth Living”. His Eminence never worried about whether the person was a Catholic, a Christian or even an atheist. He knew that God loves us whether we believe it or not and wanted to share that with all whom he came into contact.

Those who volunteer their time here at AlwaysCatholic have started a small prayer campaign following the lead of our dear friend @lamblock on Twitter for the beatification and canonization of Archbishop Sheen by praying for Sofia in his name. Many friends on twitter and the blog have joined in. We firmly believe that his intercession has contributed to the healing of our sister in Christ.

With that being said and much more to be written on this topic, we would like to post this Novena that is beginning April 30 ending on May 8th. The following post is from the site: Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Servant of All

Novena in honor of Archbishop Fulton J Sheen – Day One – April 30th

“In each child, God whispers a new secret to the world; adds a new dimension of immortality to creation” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

God whispered a wonderful love story to the world through Fulton J. Sheen so let us whisper prayers back to Him. This is a 9 day novena with the prayer for canonization at the bottom of this page.  As all of us are “Treasures in Clay” the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation invites you to join us in a journey reflecting upon the wonderful life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen through a novena beginning on April 30th and ending on May 8th, Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s birthday. Please join us in praying for the cause of his canonization while reflecting upon his life. After each quote and prayer we will pray the Prayer for his Canonization, The Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father. May this journey bring you closer to God through the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

DAY 1 “How God will judge my life I know not, but I trust he will see me with mercy and compassion. I am only certain there will be three surprises in Heaven. First of all, I will see some people whom I never expected to see. Second, there will be a number whom I expect who will not be there. And – even relying on God’s mercy – the biggest surprise of all may be that I will be there. When the record of any human life is set down, there are three pairs of eyes who see it in a different light. 1. As I see it. 2. As others see it. 3. As God sees it.“ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Lord help us to focus on You as Fulton Sheen did so that we may be humble when looking upon ourselves, so that others will see You when they look upon us, and so we can see our lives as You see it.

Prayer of Canonization, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be


Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people. If it be according to Your Will, for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For the rest of the Novena click here…

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