Monday, June 25, 2012

Archbishop Fulton Sheen and the Angels

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was famous for attributing stagehand help on his television show, Life is Worth Living, to his "little angel." The reference was always good for a chuckle, especially when a very visible hand was shown erasing his infamous chalkboard in full view of the camera.

But as much as the good Archbishop joked about angels, he could be also be pointedly serious about them. As he said on one of his shows, "There are angels. I have one of them with me on this program. You've got one of them too, if you only knew it, incidentally."

Archbishop Sheen was renowned for his expressive–some would say overly dramatic–preaching style, and for his work in radio and television. At the peak of his media career, he reached an estimated 30 million viewers. Deservedly, he is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.

Archbishop Sheen died on December 9, 1979. His remarkable career as a priest, speaker, writer, radio and television personality has produced innumerable stories and testimonies about the personal holiness of this great man. As Pope John Paul II told him during an meeting with the Archbishop shortly before his death: "You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You have been a loyal son of the Church!"

The Church is now returning the favor by considering Archbishop Sheen for canonization. His cause was opened in 2002 by Bishop Daniel Jenky, CSC, of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, where Sheen was ordained a priest. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had found Archbishop Sheen to have lived a life of “heroic virtues,” thereby conferring on him the title of “Venerable” and paving the way for the next step of beatification.

In the meantime, we can enjoy and benefit from the many writings, audio clips, and videos Archbishop Sheen has left behind. Among his works was a wonderful talk on the angels he gave on his Life is Worth Living show. Luckily, it has been reproduced on YouTube in three separate videos. Parts 1 and 2 are about 10 minutes each; part 3 is only four minutes. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy.




1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post. I had not heard of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Yesterday, I happened to turn on my television just when "Life is Worth Living" was being shown on EWTN. It was about Angels, but I don't know if it was Part 1, 2, or 3. I loved the show, and it was very odd how I happened to tune into it at a time when I don't normally watch TV. It was very helpful to me, and perhaps it was the Angels' way of interceding and leading me to watch something that would benefit me. I will now watch the episodes you've linked, above.

    Do you know if a written transcript of Archbishop Sheen's show on Angels is available somewhere?

    Thank you. God Bless You. Sylvie