The future saint left New York City’s historic cathedral with little fanfare early Thursday morning, the long and contentious battle over his final resting place finally resolved.
Unless I’m mistaken, I believe the older woman following the casket — and sprinkling it with holy water at the end — is his niece, Joan Cunningham.
Meanwhile, perhaps the bigger news is that his cause for canonization has resumed:
Most Rev. Daniel Jenky, Bishop of Peoria, is happy to announce that the remains of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen have been transferred from St. Patrick Cathedral, New York, to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Peoria. Bishop Jenky is also happy to announce that the Cause for Beatification has resumed.
Earlier this month, on June 7, 2019, the three-year long legal litigation concerning the transfer of Sheen’s remains ended when the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, rejected the final appeal of the Archdiocese of New York. Shortly after this ruling, the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Peoria cooperated in arranging for the transfer. This transfer followed civil law and Church law. The proper civil permits for the transfer were secured. Church law requires that the transfer of the remains of one considered for beatification must to be done without any solemnity. As a result, the transfer could not be publicized in advance. Also, no liturgical ceremony or public gathering could be held during the transfer. Therefore, the transfer of the remains was done without prior public notice.Early this morning, June 27, 2019, Joan Sheen Cunningham, niece of Venerable Archbishop Sheen, and Patricia Gibson, Chancellor and Attorney for the Diocese of Peoria, along with funeral home and cemetery personnel, gathered at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York. The remains of Sheen were disinterred from the basement crypt under the main altar at St. Patrick Cathedral. Sheen’s remains were immediately taken to LaGuardia airport and flown to O’Hare airport to be transported to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria.
The remains will be encased into a marble monument inside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria. Venerable Archbishop Sheen’s new tomb is located at the side altar dedicated to the Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Patricia Gibson was appointed as the official witness of the disinterment and transfer of the remains as required by the Vatican and Church law.
Traveling mercies, archbishop. Pray for us!