Venerable Fulton Sheen?

I have a confession to make.

Every Sunday, before I preach, I pray for help and guidance from three heavenly intercessors: the Virgin Mary, St. Stephen and…Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

I know people are looking for miracles to have Fulton Sheen declared a saint; the fact that I am able to do what I do every week should count as a miracle, in my book.  God knows, I’m not able to do it on my own.  The good archbishop has to be involved somehow.  I think he has a vested interest in seeing that I don’t screw up.

Archbishop Sheen was a New Yorker (he’s buried in the crypt of St. Patrick’s in Manhattan) and, like me, toiled long and hard in the vineyards of broadcasting.  Not insignificantly, he also spent some time in the pulpit where I preach; he was friends with Bishop Joseph Denning, who served as pastor at my parish for a number of years, and Archbishop Sheen often came there to preach a mission during Lent.  When I stand in that pulpit, and look out into the pews, I can’t forget that the great Fulton Sheen once had that same view.

So I was pleased the other day to discover this blog, by Bonnie Engstrom.  Her infant son, she believes, was healed by a miracle she attributes to Fulton Sheen.  (The child is named James Fulton, in his honor.)  The baby boy’s case is being studied closely in Rome.  Bonnie herself has been following the Sheen cause for canonization, and last week posted this update:

Earlier this week I received an email from the executive director of the Sheen Foundation with news that the date for the review of the Positio by the “ordinaries” (Cardinals and Bishop who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints) has been set for May 15, 2012.  (The Positio is the official “position paper” explaining why the Catholic Church should declare Sheen a saint.)

The email suggested that from May 7-15 we all pray for the Cause.  May 7 just “happens” to be the vigil of Sheen’s May 8th birthday.  May 15 is the day before my due date, which is neither here nor there but I just wanted to throw that in.

I’m inviting all my bloggity friends to join my family in keeping that novena by praying the prayer for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

You can read more about her son’s alleged miracle here.

And you can support the Fulton Sheen cause by visiting its website, where they have the latest news and updates, as well.  And, of course, pray.  The prayer for his canonization is below:

Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.

If it be according to your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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