Rorate Caeli

Venerable Fulton Sheen

Our readers are invited to recount their favorite anecdotes or Fulton Sheen quotes in the combox. 


Cruise the Groove. said...

This is a great moment for the Church!

The only Ven. Sheen event I can recount is a Mass of his I went to in Huntington, New York.
It was 1978 I believe and I recieved the Blessed Sacrament from the holy mans hand.

Deo Gratias!

xavier rynne said...

My favorite:

"The worst thing in the world is not sin; the worst thing in the world is the denial of sin."

Anonymous said...

His sister (I believe it was) recounted as part of a documentary that the good bishop often came back to his residence without his winter coat or his umbrella or some other "essential" bad-weather item. She said that he was always giving things away to the poor that he saw on the street while walking home in the evening--a side of his life that I don't think many people ever knew about.

--Fr. Capreolus

backtothefuture said...

I wish some of the bishops had the zeal like bishop Sheen. Pray our bishops venerable Fulton Sheen.

Barbara said...

"The Holy Trinity never possesses a creature without the consent of his will. When,therefore, Mary had heard how this was to take place, She uttered words which are the greatest pledge of liberty and the greatest charter of freedom the world has ever heard 'Be it done unto me according to Thy word.' As in Eden there took place the first espousals of man and woman, so in Her, there took place the first espousals of God and man, eternity and time, omnipotence and bonds. In answer to the question: Will you give me a human body?" the marriage ceremony becomes bathed with new depths of freedom: 'I will.'And the Word was conceived in Her.
Here, then, is FREEDOM OF RELIGION: God respects human freedom by refusing to invade humanity and to establish a beachhead in time without the free consent of one of His creatures. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE is also involved: before Mary could claim the great gifts of God as Her own, She had to ratify those gifts by and act of will in the Annunciation. And there is THE FREEDOM OF A TOTAL ABANDONMENT TO GOD: our free will is the only thing that is really our own. Our health. our wealth, our power - all these God can take from us. But our freedom He leaves to us, even in Hell."

Fulton Sheen
The World's First Love

Knight of Malta said...

I have his book (co-written) This is the Mass published right before VII, where he profoundly expostulates on every nuance of the TLM (too bad it was revised after the NO). I also have a book signed by him. He was the greatest media proponent of the Catholic faith America has ever seen!

Supertradmum said...

I think he should be patron of bloggers. So many of us love him. My favorite "What does one call an ignorant Catholic? A Protestant."

Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, pray for us.

Kumquat said...

Venerable Fulton was a bi-ritual bishop, with faculties from the Melkite Synod of Bishops.

In Birmingham, he celebrated the Byzantine Liturgy pontifically. This was the first such celebration in English--and it took place before Vatican II.

David L Alexander said...

I remember watching his television show with my Grandma ...

Mike said...

I now and then go to a beautiful TLM in Virginia, and the retired pastor one Sunday gave us a dramatic account of the creation of the Diocese of Arlington, VA...seems a radical group of priests and nuns attended a meeting in Richmond, I believe, and a faithful group of priests attended a church in Arlington, and Bishop Sheen was in attendance. He told the pastor relating this, "One day, this Church will be a cathedral."

Shortly afterwards, the diocese of Arlington was created, with that Church as its bishop's.

poeta said...

"In the midst of a great sea there was an island with a great wall, a high wall. On that island lived children, who sang and played. One day some men came to the island in a rowboat. They called themselves 'liberators' and said to the children, 'Who put up these walls? Who built these barriers? Can you not see that they are restraining your freedom and your liberty? Tear them down. Be free.'

"The children tore down the walls. Now if you go back, you will find all the children huddled together in the center of the island, afraid to sing, afraid to play, afraid to dance, afraid of falling into the sea!"

P.K.T.P. said...

This is great but I'm actually more interested in the new announcement of more Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Those martyrs are a reproach to the recent leftist government in Spain, as it has busied itself murdering unborn babies.


Trifecta said...

"and that his cause is being pushed forward by liberals who have no concern for Catholic Tradition."

You mean, the numerous groups of nuns whose invitations to speak he turned down because they didn't wear their habits?

Mary Jane said...

@ Trifecta - GOOD one. :)

@ Carol & LeonG - Ven. Fulton Sheen died prior to the SSPX consecrations, prior to the FSSP being established. Really, he died before the "Traditionalist" movement had a lot of that time the Traditionalist movement was really just starting.

Okay so he celebrated the OF form of the Mass. So what? He probably did it the right way, without abuses.

I would imagine that when he was alive the rampant abuse issues we see today were not yet so widely manifested...the fruits of the VII council were probably still yet to be seen. I cannot imagine that if he were alive today he would continue to approve of the fruits of VII.

For the record, I am an EF-only gal...I attend an EF every Sunday (at an FSSP parish).

Please people...let's not turn this comment thread into a bashing session.

The Romish Papist said...

@Mary Jane,

Good points.

What state is your FSSP parish in? Ours is in Nebraska but we've attended them in Colorado and California too when traveling. Always feels like we're at home when we step inside no matter where it is :)

Poor Yorek said...

Bishop Sheen on "What's My Line?"

There is a touching moment right at the end of the video.

dom. Noah Moerbeek, CPMO said...

Decisions and resolutions taken during an enthusiastic moment mean little unless tested by time and by waiting. The immediate request for places on the right and left side of the kingdom by James and John he ordered tested by the ability to bear sacrifice and to drink the cup of His Passion and Crucifixion. When after multiplying the bread, the multitude wished to make him a bread king, Our Lord fled into the mountains alone. It is always a good policy never to choose the most enthusiastic person in a gathering as a leader. Wait to see how much wood there is for the flame.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Guide to Contentment)

Skypilot Jeff said...

My favorite quote from him:
"At the end of your life, you will see just one of two faces - the sweet loving face of Jesus Christ, or the horrible face of satan - and whichever face you see will be looking at you and saying, "Mine."

Skypilot Jeff said...

My favorite quote from him:
"At the end of your life, you will see one of two faces - the sweet, loving face of Jesus Christ, or the horrible face of satan - and whichever you see will be saying "Mine."

Adfero said...

This sums up, from Sheen, why we homeschool:

‘If you want your kids to defend their Faith send them to a public school, if you want them to lose their Faith send them to a Catholic School.’

ben ingledew said...

I thought this was funny but also very profound.

"Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn."

Q said...

At 4:08 of this video, the Servant of God stated: “It is a long established principle of the Church never to completely drop from her public worship any ceremony, object or prayer which once occupied a place in that worship.”

Would that this were as true today as it was in 1941!

Clayton Orr said...

My funny story about the Ven. Fulton Sheen actually comes from Clear Creek Monastery. During dinner, the reading chosen was from his autobiography. We got to the chapter, "The Lighter Side", and the roar of laughter throughout the meal was almost unedifying. The novices were particularly scandalized. The prior, Fr. Bethel, and the guestmaster were elated.

Lily said...

I was on an Ignatian Retreat when a priest told a Fulton Sheen story. He said that Fulton Sheen had come to the hospital to see someone who was critically ill. When he arrived at the patient's room, the doctor's were involved with the patient and Bishop Sheen could not enter the room. The nurse said there was a very ill patient across the hall that Bishop Sheen could check in on. He went to see that patient, an atheist, who promptly said he didn't want to see a priest, was not Catholic and didn't care if he went to Hell. Fulton Sheen calmly said, "well, I have never seen someone go directly to Hell, so if it's alright with you I would like to stay here and see that." An hour later, the patient converted and died a Catholic.

Anthony said...

Fulton Sheen on Russia:

“The lesson is not to be forgotten: in a not too distant day when Russia, like the prodigal son, will return to the father’s house, let not Western civilization refuse to accept it back or absent itself from the feast celebrating the salvation of what was lost. Constant obedience is better than repentance, but the truly obedient will always rejoice in the repentant.”


Now that Russia has freed itself from official atheism, restored Orthodoxy, insists on evidence of Christian belief for advancement through the bureaucratic ranks, refuses to countenance gay pride parades, rebuilt the Cathedral of Christ our Savior that had been torn down by Stalin, is moving to restrict abortion, and who pro-natalist policies have sparked a sustained baby boom (450,000 babies were born in the first 3 months of 2012, up 6.5% from he same period in 2011), Archbishop Sheen's words are prophetic.

He foresaw our reluctance to embrace a Russia restored to the Christian fold.

Did he understand that we, in our mad pursuit of empire, and our promotion of "progressive," Godless, secular materialist values (yes, a role reversal has taken place: we are the new Soviet Union), would seek the isolation of Christian Russia as we have been doing since the Clinton Administration?

Apparently so.

Kindred Spirit said...

I often post the wise words of the good now Venerable Archbishop Sheen at 'A Trail of Flowers,' and it is difficult to choose my favorite quote of his. This is one, both timeless and apt in our age which is all but devoid of both chivalry and womanly virtue:

"To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

-- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Mom in the Shoe said...

Archbishop Sheen's "Life Is Worth Living" lectures that were published by Image Books were a lifeline for me when I was an extremely depressed teenager. I would like to mention that I was a homeschooled, TLM-only-attending, very busy and productive teenage girl who was raised "right" and wore the "right" clothes, never watched television or listened to the wrong kind of music, etc. So I was mostly ignored when I slipped into suicidal depression because "good" girls didn't act that way, and if I did, then either I was in mortal sin or I wasn't praying enough.

When I read his sermons on love in which he explained how one loves one's enemies -- we are obligated to love people, we are not obligated to like them -- it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I was able to start a very long, and often very painful, journey to healing a very betrayed heart.

Without Archbishop Sheen I don't know what would have happened to me, or where I'd be today. Everyone who wishes to engage in bashing him should think a little bit about getting the weeds out of their own yards before complaining about the weeds in the Archbishop's yard.

Venerable Fulton Sheen, thank you and please continue to pray for me and my family.

Spliff said...

"When one lives by novelty, there will always have to be a new novelty."

- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Jack O' Malley said...

I don't have a quote from Archbishop Sheen, though I have watched the youtubes of the programs my parents used to love.

But I just wanted to say that I greatly admire the beautiful blogs of Kindred Spirit. If Truth is Beauty and Beauty Truth, then her posts are an aesthetic treasure.

God bless you, Kindred Spirit.

And God bless Archbishop Sheen, an American saint.

Adfero said...

In this thread we will venerate the new venerable. Have something else to say? Take it somewhere else.

Barbara said...

I am wondering why my last comment wasn't published on this thread?

Would someone be kind and tell me?


Augustinus said...


What comment?

Barbara said...


The one where I agreed with Mary Jane and where I mentioned that it is a common for people to make quips and sometimes regret them afterwards( re:LeonG's quote)- in of defense Archbishop Sheen, whose books I love!

It must be lost in space!

Thanks for your reply Augustinus!

The Postmodernist said...

Even though he is no longer here on earth, the Archbishop still speaks in this Picture, saying: "Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offerimus ob memoriam passionis, resurrectionis, et ascensionis Jesu Christi Domini nostri.." This time he is doing it in saecula saeculorum.

Kindred Spirit said...

Thank you, Jack O'Malley, for your kind words; and may God bless you, too.

Benedict Carter said...

My favourite ** Sheen quote is:

"The essence of the satanic lies in the hatred of the Cross of Christ".

Gratias said...

All I can contribute is the link to a faulous TLM. Please google:

Easter mass 1941 Fulton Sheen

He is the narrator of this Solemn Mass. Worth watching the 50 min of this free YouTube. It has had 650,000 viewings, so maybe you have seen it already.