Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and Sister Mary Angeline Teresa Declared Venerable

Wonderful news!  The Holy Father has declared two people with very close ties to the Archdiocese of New York to be “Venerable,” meaning that they lived lives of recognized heroic virtue, and  are now on their formal way to possible beatification and canonization.

One you probably know – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, buried below the altar at Saint Patrick’s.  The other new “Venerable” you may not be as familiar with, Sister Mary Angeline Teresa, the foundress of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirmed.

Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa was born in Ireland, and joined the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order dedicated to caring for the destitute aged.  Her congregation sent her to work in the Bronx, where she felt an urge to do more for the aged in her care.  She sought the advice of the then Archbishop of New York, Patrick Cardinal Hayes, who encouraged her to care for the elderly throughout all of New York City and the United States.  With the Cardinal’s blessing, she founded what eventually became known as the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirmed.  Their ministry has had a profound impact on many elderly men and women who get the very best care in a loving, dignified, environment.   Many of you have heard of the Mary Manning Walsh home here in New York, for instance, one of the many excellent nursing homes founded by Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, and still served by her Carmelite Sisters. Sister died in 1984, and is buried at their Motherhouse in Germantown, New York, which is part of the Albany diocese.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, which is spearheading the cause for his sainthood.  But, Archbishop Sheen was also very intimately linked with New York, where he lived and worked for most of his life, becoming “Preacher to the World” – as he was called by Pope John Paul II – through his many years of working in radio, television, and for the missions, before being named Bishop of Rochester.

Father Andrew Small, OMI, one of Archbishop Sheen’s successors as President of the National Society for the Propagation of the Faith, commented today, “As head of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1950 to 1966, the Venerable Fulton Sheen was heroic in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ far and wide – from Peoria to Pretoria; New York to New Delhi. He teaches us still that the Church is missionary by her very nature.”

In my homily in 2009 on the 30th Anniversary of his death, I had this to say about Archbishop Sheen:

“Fulton J. Sheen wanted to get to heaven.

Fulton J. Sheen wanted to bring all of us with him.

Fulton J. Sheen wanted to be a saint.

Fulton J. Sheen wanted us to be saints, too.

His pivotal insight, central to revelation, was that Jesus Christ was the way to heaven, the truth about how to get there, the life we hope to share for all eternity.”

Today’s announcement from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints about these two newly declared Venerables, each very much in tune with today’s world, show that Archbishop Sheen and Sister Mary Angeline Teresa are still hard at work helping show us the way to heaven.

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15 Responses to “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and Sister Mary Angeline Teresa Declared Venerable”

  1. Robert Fox says:

    Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen was a hero. This is because he had the heroic charity to tell the truth in season and out of season on a whole host of issues without equivocating. He was never afraid to touch the third rail of ecclesiastical politics. Back in the 80’s and 90’s when Bishop Sheen’s teachings were being viewed only on EWTN… and practically nowhere else… we had prominent Catholic leaders in this country and in Europe challenging the Holy Father strong stance on mostly everything in the moral and disciplinary realm. In fact, one of those bishops who publicly gave John Paul II a tongue lashing, now retired, is a grave scandal to us all… and yet he remains a bishop in good standing.

    Not much has changed since the 80’s and 90’s. The demographics have gone up and down a bit for us… but the well intentioned euphoria of the post councilor Church has proven to be an illusion.

    Some say we get the leaders we deserve. This is partly true. But I also wonder if the present Church is capable of producing men like Bishop Sheen. The entire “lex orandis” has changed and is now one of conciliation, compromise, positioning, equivocation. Example: Look at the tremendous uproar created simply because the bishops tried to strengthen certain parts of the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. It was like pulling teeth. We seek religous COMFORT, not correction or perfection.

    I sometimes think it ALL has to fall apart before anything REAL can be built. We are in free-fall. Only Our Lord and Our Lady can send us another man like Bishop Sheen… and we would probably have to censure him the minute he opened his mouth because he would offend all of the wrong leaders in the Church.

  2. Irene says:

    Does anyone know what’s going on with Archbishop Romero’s cause?

  3. anamaria says:

    Qué agradable noticia, es verdad, todo un desafío para el mundo de hoy.Bendiciones!!!

  4. Vincent De Carlo says:

    It’s about time that the Vatican started Bishop Sheen on his way to Sainthood.God Bless him….Pray for us,please Bishop Sheen……

  5. Vincent De Carlo says:

    About time,he should be a Saint by now for all that he has done…..

  6. Liz Alvarado says:

    This is wonderful news! My brother and I received the sacrament of Confirmation from him about 50 years ago in his private residence @ St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Archbishop Sheen was also a family friend. God bless everyone.

  7. Toni Amanda Tarantino-Meloche says:

    Fantastic!!! Thank you for the “good news,” Cardinal. It is imperative that we keep a good prospective on what is happening in our world today and what is happening in the Church. The Church Triumphant, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering are rejoicing over the great news!!! May God Bless Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Sr. Mary Angeline Teresa and all they did in their earthly lives, and may we, through their intercessory prayers, storm heaven with our prayers for the conversion of all mankind, especially all sinners and pray for our nation during this Fortnight of Prayer! Your servant in Christ, Toni

  8. Jack says:

    A certain site that calls itself “traditional” censored this story of Ven. Fulton, but I hope you don’t.

    He was a bi-ritual bishop, and had been granted Byzantine rite faculties by the Patriarch and Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church.

    He was the first to celebrate a Pontifical Divine Liturgy IN ENGLISH in Birmingham, Alabama–and this was BEFORE Vatican 2.

    As far as I can tell, St. George’s Melkite Catholic Church in Birmingham was the first Catholic Church in the world to regularly use English at liturgical services.

  9. The true source of Archbishop Sheen’s power was that he made a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day of his priesthood.

  10. Just when everyone is saying “The Church is dead”, God raises up new saints! May we look to their examples as we strive for heaven.

    Archbishop Sheen, I use your work daily in the classroom, and I thank God for blessing you with so many talents. You are a great preacher, teacher, and servant of the Lord.

    Enjoy heaven!

    Vivian Cuadras

  11. Steve Baker says:

    So glad to hear the news about the veneration of Bishop Sheen and Sister Mary Angeline Teresa. I have been a big fan of Bishop Sheen’s and I am looking forward to the day he is canonized.

  12. John G. says:

    Today’s Catholic Apologists

    In the past in the United States we have had a number of “Apologists”. Frank Sheed stands out as exceptionally worthy of the title. William Buckley might also be included in the list. Fulton Sheen was outstanding – brilliant, witty, compassionate and thoroughly understandable in his instructions about faith and morality– a star radio and TV personality as well as our own devout clergyman. We certainly need more apologists like Archbishop Sheen in the Church today.

    Aside from John Garvey, the President of Catholic University, and a few of the Archbishops and Bishops, I don’t think we have many persons of Archbishop Sheen’s caliber in the United States today to represent and defend the Church. John Garvey gave an excellent presentation at the recent Bishops’ Conference in Atlanta and I understand that Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley invited him to appear on the Catholic TV Network this week to discuss the Healthcare issue. Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput gave an outstanding address to the students of Assumption College, Worcester, in November 2011 entitled “Catholics and the Next America”. That address should be given at every College and University in America that calls itself “Catholic”. Archbishop Lori has eloquently represented the Church’s position with regard to the HHS Mandate under the Affordable Care Act. You have made numerous appearances and addresses representing the American Catholic Church’s position on a number of recent national issues: the Defense of Marriage Act; the HHS Mandate, etc. But are all your Brother Bishops enthusiastic Apologists?

    We need more exposure for our Lay Catholic Spokesmen. Where are they – especially at this crucial time in American history? I hope and pray that as the leader of the Church in the United States you are lining up some outstanding orators who can tell the story that needs to be told to your flock and to all Americans of good will.

  13. Christie Mattingly says:

    I am so happy about this I could cry! I love Archbishop Sheen and have many many of his books. I still watch him on DVD as I was born in 1956 and was pretty young when he was on TV. This man deserves to be a Saint. – Thank you Dear God.

    The Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Wonderful.

    God bless and keep all of you.


  14. Andrew Leong says:

    Even as a Catholic here in the city of Singapore, I am touched by the writing of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. With youtube, I came across his sermons, and he reasons so beautifully and persuasively that we are compelled to make an effort to return to God.

    Praise be to God for Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

  15. The Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen has been my role model, as a preacher and a writer. May I be in his shoes though they are too big. So far I have written thirteen books, the name of Archbishop Fulton Sheen has found a room in every book. The day he will be canonized will be a day to remember.