Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
On Sept. 9, 2002, the cause for the canonization of Fulton J. Sheen was begun. From his ordination in 1919 to his death in 1979 Sheen spent his life working out a "Christian response to the challenge of the times." As Thomistic philosopher and professor at the Catholic University of America, prolific writer, pioneer of the electronic gospel on radio and TV, convert-maker, head of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and Bishop of Rochester in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, he lived in the religious spotlight for most of his life. Fulton J. Sheen's personal odyssey mirrored that of the Catholic Church in facing the challenges of the times. "The greatest preacher and evangelist of the 20th century in the United States," as John Cardinal O'Connor called him, Sheen may one day enjoy the additional distinction of being the first American-born male saint.