This past week the New York Supreme Court passed the decision that Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s body was to be returned to his home diocese of Peoria, Illinois. The archbishop, who died in New York City in 1979, had been buried in the crypt of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. His next of kin niece, Joan Sheen-Cunningham, seeks to have his remains moved back home in Peoria where the cause for his canonization has been opened. Fulton J. Sheen, who was born in 1895, was raised and went to seminary in Illinois. The Diocese of Peoria currently has spent approximately $1 million dollars over the last 16 years advancing Sheen’s cause for sainthood and now the process can continue, with his cause for sainthood hopefully moving forward.
During the 20th century, Archbishop Sheen became a famous radio and television personality proclaiming and teaching the Catholic faith with clarity and conviction. He made many converts and even twice won an Emmy award for his television program “Life is Worth Living.” He is the author of 70 books and his talks can be heard today via cds and a phone app. The cause for his canonization 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 — and he is now referred to as “Venerable.” May the good archbishop now rest in peace.