The Catholic University of America

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895–1979)
Catholic University's Great Communicator

Since its founding in 1887, no one associated with The Catholic University of America has had a greater impact on the world than Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. A formidable scholar, prolific author, and Catholic University professor for 23 years, Archbishop Sheen was also a pioneer of the new evangelization. A charismatic radio and television personality and a zealous preacher of the Gospel, his whole-hearted embrace of modern means of communication gave him access to millions of American homes and, arguably, made him the most influential American Catholic of the 20th century.

In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI declared Sheen "venerable." In March 2014, the board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to his intercession. On June 17, 2014, the congregation's seven-member theological commission unanimously agreed with the medical team's finding.

While it seemed inevitable that Sheen would be beatified in 2014, on Sept. 3 of that year Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria announced that the canonization cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen suspended because of a dispute between the Diocese of Peoria and the Archdiocese of New York because of a legal dispute over Sheen’s mortal remains. The dispute centered on a tension between the desire of Sheen’s closest living relative, Joan Sheen Cunningham, to have Sheen interred at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria and a statement in Sheen’s will asking for interment in a New York cemetery. This was finally resolved in June of 2019 when the New York State Court of Appeals refused to hear any further appeals in the case, definitively granting Joan Sheen Cunningham’s request. Sheen was moved to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on June 27, 2019 and his cause was officially re-opened.

On July 6, 2019,  Pope Francis formally approved the miracle attributed to the intercession of Sheen, paving the way for Sheen to be beatified.

The next step will be to schedule a beatification ceremony, which is expected to be held in Peoria, in which Sheen would be formally declared "blessed." A second miracle would need to be validated before he would be declared a saint.

The University invites the CUA community and all those who honor Archbishop Sheen's memory to join us in celebrating his exemplary life and praying for the reopening of his cause for canonization.

Sheen at Catholic University

First as a student, then for 23 years as a professor, Archbishop Sheen was deeply connected to Catholic University.  

His Enduring Impact

The University still looks to Archbishop Sheen as a role model and inspiration. 

New Evangelization Pioneer

With his radio and TV shows, Archbishop Sheen was the first to bring the Gospel to a mass media audience.

The Cause for Canonization

Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed him venerable. The next step for Archbishop Sheen would be beatification.


Catholic University was the base from which Fulton Sheen launched his extraordinary career.


Prayer for the Canonization
of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.

If it be according to Your will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

> View the prayer in several languages