Archbishop Fulton Sheen died on Dec. 9, 1979. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York will celebrate a memorial Mass on that day at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Archbishop Sheen is buried. Sheen served as the auxiliary bishop of New York from 1951 to 1966. He was then named the bishop of Rochester, and in 1969 when he retired from that post, elevated to the title of archbishop.
Archbishop Sheen’s cause for canonization was opened in 2002. If declared a saint, he will be the first TV personality and American-born bishop-saint in the United States.
The prelate impacted millions on his radio and television programs in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. He hosted a show called “Life is Worth Living.” He also beat out TV legends Lucille Ball, Edward Murrow and Arthur Godfrey for an Emmy Award in 1952. His audience reached 30 million viewers a week.
“Bishop Sheen took the world by storm,” said Monsignor Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Sheen Foundation. “So many people grew up watching him on television, and so many can say that his show truly changed their life.”