Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guest Post: Archbishop Fulton Sheen

We are lucky and honored to have our very first guest post. I've wanted to do this for a while, but have not pursued it enough to see it to fruition.

Welcome to the thoughts of Luke Arredondo, the author of a fellow Blogspot blog Quiet, Dignity, and Grace (which was nominated for best new blog over at the Crescat's Annual Cannonball Awards). I have know Luke for nigh on six years. We were in the seminary together. We played music together (he is an accomplished trumpeter). We prayed together and we've laughed together (a unique experience for the who have had the pleasure).

Luke, now a DRE at a local parish, is married with a beautiful baby girl. I've known for a long time that he is an avid reader and no author is more close to his heart than Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. When I asked to write a post, it seemed most appropriate for him to write on Sheen. Due to the breadth of his writing, it will be spread out over three posts.

Without further ado ...


An Ambassador of Faith

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, to older Catholics, is a household name. Unfortunately for the younger generations, his name is not yet awell-known one. However, it seems the tide may be turning in the other direction, even if slowly. Seminarians are reading his works,YouTube users are seeing some of his great tv spots, and in parishes around the world, prayers are being offered for his case for canonization.

I first discovered the writing sof Fulton Sheen while a seminarian. I'll forever be in debt spiritually to Neil Pettit, whose pile of books sitting on his desk attracted my attention on a number of occasions. On a whim, while heading out the door to my week of vacation in Destin, I asked if I could borrow his seminal volume on priesthood entitled The Priest Is Not His Own. Never will I look at the world with the same eyes.

These posts are born of a deepdesire to do two things:
First, to impart some of the most powerful insights I have gained from reading Sheen's works.
Secondly, to hopefully encourage those who read this post to go directly to the source and read some of the Archbishop's beautiful meditations and deepen your own faith in Christ.
If all goes well, reading these posts will lead you to read Fulton Sheen's own works and will in turn lead one deeper into the mystery of faith and particularly to a devotion to the Eucharist.

Short Biography

Fulton Sheen was born in El Paso, IL. His name was actually Peter John Sheen, but he became known by the name Fulton as a child and it stuck withhim. Although Sheen grew up in arural, farming community, his intellectual gifts would take him to some of themost prestigious places of study in the world. And he would succeed in everysingle challenge placed before him, even earning the highest possible honors in postgraduate work at the prestigious theology school in Luvein, Belgium.

After earning his doctorate, here turned to the US where he became a professor of philosophy at Catholic University of America and went on to host an Emmy-winning television program, Your Life Is Worth Living, which attracted viewers of all faiths and walks of life. His charisma came through the tv screen as well as his humor. At his acceptance speech for his Emmy award, he thanked his four writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

All throughout his life, Sheen was busy studying and writing. He is theauthor of over 30 books. His most well-known works are his Last Seven Words and his magnum opus Life of Christ. Shortly before his death, he met Pope John Paul II in New York, and the Holy Father told him that he had written well and spoken well of the Church. He died in his private chapel during a holy hour in 1979.


Stay tuned next week for the second post by Luke!

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