The life and teachings of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen anticipated and embodied the spirit of both the Second Vatican Council and the New Evangelization. A gifted orator and writer, he was a pioneer in the use of media for evangelization: His radio and television broadcasts reached an estimated 30 million weekly viewers. He also wrote more than 60 works on Christian living and theology, many of which are still in print.
Born in 1895, Sheen grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and was ordained a priest for the diocese in 1919. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop in New York City in 1951. As the head of his mission agency, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (1950–1966), and as Bishop of Rochester (1966-1969), Sheen helped create 9,000 clinics, 10,000 orphanages, and 1,200 schools; and his contributions educated 80,000 seminarians and 9,000 religious.
Upon his death in 1979, Sheen was buried at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. His cause for canonization was returned to his home diocese of Peoria in January 2011, and Sheen was proclaimed “Venerable” by Pope Benedict XVI on June 28, 2012. The first miracle attributed to his intercession was approved in March 2014, paving the way for his beatification.