American TV Icon Honored
Life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen to be celebrated 30 years later with memorial Mass
by Christine Schicker Thursday, December 03, 2009
309.671.1550 x 309
(PEORIA, IL) December 3, 2009-- Emmy Award winning TV personality Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be remembered in a memorial Mass on the 30th anniversary of his death, December 9, 2009.
Sheen is being called a “Saint for Our Times.” The self effacing bishop is being considered for Sainthood by the Catholic Church. His Cause officially opened in 2002, and two alleged miracles and countless favors await investigation by the Vatican in Rome. If declared a saint, Sheen will be the first TV personality and American-born Bishop Saint in the United States. Bishop Sheen impacted millions through the media on his radio and television programs in the 1930’s - 1950’s. The Catholic bishop hosted a show called “Life is Worth Living.” The program debuted on a small network and soon gave Milton Berle a run for his money, cutting into his ratings. Sheen also beat out famous TV legends Lucille Ball, Edward R. Murrow and Arthur Godfrey for an Emmy Award in 1952. Sheen reached audiences of all faiths, captivating 30 million viewers a week. “Bishop Sheen took the world by storm,” said Monsignor Stanley Deptula, Executive Director of the Archbishop Sheen Foundation, “so many people grew up watching him on television, and so many can say that his show truly changed their life.” The beloved archbishop died 30 years ago on December 9, 1979.
The memorial Mass will take place December 9, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where Sheen served as an auxiliary bishop and where his body is currently laid to rest. The Memorial Mass will be celebrated by New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan who recently announced that he is modeling his episcopacy after his predecessor, Archbishop Sheen. Dolan will be joined by cardinals, bishops and priests from around the United States and abroad. Thousands of lay faithful, including members of the Sheen family, are expected to turn out to remember this modern day saint in the making. The Mass at St. Patrick’s is the center of Masses being said in all 50 states and around the world in memory of this great Bishop.
Sheen was a tireless worker for the fight against communism, the Vietnam War and worldwide poverty. He headed the Catholic Society of the Propagation of the Faith based in New York. Sheen’s missionary zeal generated needed financial support from faithful Catholics and non-Catholics alike which aided millions around the world in their daily struggle to survive. “This celebration of the 30th anniversary of Archbishop Sheen’s death is really an opportunity to intersect with the greatness and the profound holiness of this faithful witness to the Lord,” said Monsignor John E. Kozar, successor of Bishop Sheen as National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, “We continue to work as an extension of all he did to share the Missions and the needs of the Church Universal with the Catholics of our own country.”
Archbishop Sheen has the rare honor of being buried in a crypt under the main altar inside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The crypt will be opened to the public, a rare and privileged opportunity for the faithful and fans of the famous Catholic priest to prayerfully visit from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Media Notes and Contacts:
The Mass of remembrance begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral and will be carried live on EWTN and Catholic TV, and will encore on EWTN at 12:00 a.m.
To obtain a live feed/ satellite coordinates of the Mass and events at St. Patrick’s for both live and streaming video beginning at 5:00 p.m., contact Mike Lavery at 914-968-7800 or 914-419-8005 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A DVD with still pictures of Sheen is available by contacting Sara Worrell at 309-671-1550 or email@example.com
For information regarding media access at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, contact Joe Zwilling at 646-794-2997 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To arrange advance interviews contact Sara Worrell at 309-671-1550 or email@example.com
Background on Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and the Cause for Beatification/Canonization please visit www.archbishopsheencause.org
Click here to view Catholic Television’s story on Sheen’s path to sainthood at: http://www.catholictv.com/videos/videos.aspx?videoID=343
CatholicTV will be airing a variety of shows honoring Archbishop Sheen in addition to the Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Click here to view the schedule: http://www.catholictv.com/schedule/default.aspx
Click here to read what Archbishop Timothy Dolan has said about the relevance of Archbishop Fulton Sheen: http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=98456
Click here to read about the celebration of this event with Masses around the world: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/briefs/cns/20091112.htm
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