Bishop of Fulton Sheen's Home Diocese Reflects on His Legacy

Highlights Venerable’s Emphasis on Prayer

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PEORIA, Illinois, JULY 2, 2012 ( Following the Vatican announcement last week that Archbishop Fulton Sheen was declared to have lived a life of heroic virtues and has the title of “venerable” the U.S.-based Maximus Group held a press conference to allow journalists to find out more about how his cause for sainthood is progressing.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, who initiated the diocesan inquiry into the life and virtue of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, spoke to the reporters at the press conference.

“I know I speak for all the clergy, religious faithful of the Diocese of Peoria and I think of much of the United States and even great parts of the world that we are so happy that His Holiness has declared Fulton Sheen venerable,” the bishop stated.

“Fulton Sheen went door to door here in Peoria evangelizing. He preached and talked relentlessly. When he moved down to the world stage, he was a pioneer in using the media to announce the good news. And maybe most importantly, he was a man of holiness, of intense daily prayer and that is an example that I believe all the Church needs to imitate in these days,” Bishop Jenky explained.

Monsignor Richard Soseman, the coordinator of International Outreach for the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation, was also present.

The fact that Archbishop Fulton Sheen lived Christian virtues in a heroic way is no surprise to those who knew him, he said. “He convinced people of God’s love for each individual person and that no person — no individual should be lost, should be considered less important because of reasons of race or color or creed or because of political considerations or any other agenda that people may have — that God loves each one of us that He loves each one of you,” Monsignor Soseman said.

Later on in the press conference Bishop Jenky stated that one of the greatest gifts to the Church from Archbishop Sheen was his “example of prayer especially adoration before the Eucharist and his preaching and teaching about prayer.”

“He constantly preached to the clergy of his diocese and clergies throughout the country and clergy throughout the world that perhaps even for the most hardworking priests the most important hour in their day would be the time of intimate prayer before Christ in the (sacrament).”

Bishop Jenky said it was hard for him to think of anyone who spoke more eloquently about the need for prayer than Fulton Sheen. “But more than his words, this is something he lived everyday of his life and everyday of his priesthood,” he added.

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