A nation always gets the kind of politicians it deserves.

FULTONSHEEN

Submitted by Bob Stanley

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What to do when your parish priest comes down with Kerygma

BishopSheen

The late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
was know to be a frequent “sufferer” 

The Sunday homily as an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word, can only be renewed and energized by the Holy Spirit.

Kerygma or the proclamation of the Paschal Mystery should lead to metanoia 5, a progressive (or radical) conversion of the heart to the Gospel. But, it is the Holy Spirit who is the great “Converter” waiting to be “stirred up” or “fanned into flame” 6 in the hearts of the faithful, through the preaching of Christ crucified.

As Pope Paul VI said in his very powerful apostolic exhortation “On Evangelisation”: “…the Holy Spirit is the principal agent of evangelization. It is he who inspires each individual to proclaim the Gospel, and it is he who causes the word of salvation to be understood and accepted.

It was not by chance that the inauguration of evangelization took place on the morning of Pentecost under the inspiration of the Spirit”. 7 It is noteworthy that the greatest aspect of the renewal of the Eucharistic Liturgy that Vatican II has brought is the introduction of the epiclesis, 8 right before the words of consecration of the bread and wine.

That is why preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit is essential. Hopefully, this kerygmatic preaching will elicit conversion which in turn awakens the desire in the believer for a deeper knowledge and understanding of the faith, which is catechesis.

However, what is sorely needed in our parishes, before faith formation or catechesis, which is, in itself, very important, is boldness in the kerygma, the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen.

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The (free on-line) Archbishop Sheen Audio Library

My response to a reader comment shocked me.

BHCommwAl

Remembering simpler times. Were they really better?

by Doug Lawrence

Responding to a recent comment about the teachings of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, I wrote:

I lived during the era of the pre-Vatican II Church, so I’m an eye-witness.

Way back then, 75% of Catholics attended Mass every Sunday. Urban renewal projects had yet to break up and disperse faithful Catholic communities. Contraception and abortion were not yet central issues of the day. The clarity of Catholic teaching was superb.

The quality of Catholic schools was excellent and the tuition was easily affordable, even for families with many children. Catholic churches were beautiful. Men and women religious were numerous, orthodox, and wholly dedicated to their work.

The liturgy was traditional, Latin, and quite adequate. The seminaries had yet to be liberalized and feminized, so there was an abundance of good priests available to serve the needs of most parishes.

In those days, the Catholic Church was respected, all around the world. We had a strong Pope in the Vatican, no nonsense bishops running most of the dioceses, and Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen proclaiming Catholic truth to the masses every week, on network TV.

Of course, there were a few “bad apples” and scandals, even then. But the pre-Vatican II church knew how to properly handle them.

Then there was Vatican II … somebody put the radicals in charge … the church tore itself apart, lost its focus, along with much of its good sense, and with a few exceptions, things have been going downhill ever since. 

Were things really that good, back then? Comments, anyone?

Thanks to Cathy for the original comment!

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s Secret to Evangelization

…an important observation: doctrinal objections to Catholicism are often moral objections in disguise. Earlier in his book, Sheen affirms that “most people basically do not have trouble with the Creed, but with the Commandments; not so much with what the Church teaches, as with how the Church asks us to behave.”

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The Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

On June 28, Pope Benedict officially recognized Archbishop Sheen as someone who had lived a life of “heroic virtue,” and declared him “Venerable.” The devout priest from Peoria who became the first televangelist, commanded a weekly audience of 30 million, and appeared on the cover of Time, is now just one step away from beatification, and a second from sainthood, pending two respective miracles. The Vatican is already studying the case of a stillborn child who—having shown no vital signs for 60 minutes—astonishingly came back to life, after his mother prayed for the Archbishop’s intercession.

The advance of Sheen’s cause has elated his many supporters, especially three priests who’ve had a special devotion to it.

Monsignor Hilary Franco, who served as the Archbishop’s assistant when he headed the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in America—and is the only surviving member of his New York household—told me how thankful he was for the announcement: “I am a living witness to Archbishop Sheen’s holiness.”

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For a 1950s TV Evangelist, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a Step Toward Sainthood.

For Archbishop’s Sheen’s admirers, the announcement came as an official stamp of approval that meant Archbishop Sheen’s life was worthy of emulation.

“He is the patron saint of media and evangelization,” said the Rev. Robert Barron, whose Illinois-based ministry, Word on Fire, seeks to spread the Gospel through television and the Internet. And the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who often appears on television, said:  “Sainthood has come to the media age. In another couple of years we will have the first Twitter or Facebook saint.”

Archbishop Sheen brought Catholicism into the living rooms of Catholics, Protestants and people of other faiths at a time when anti-Catholic sentiment was still common in the United States. Wearing his full clerical garb, with scarlet cap and robe, he preached and offered simple lessons, like the importance of laughing at oneself. Signing off at the end of his show, “Life Is Worth Living,” he often raised his hands above his head with a performer’s pizazz.

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Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen conducted the first religious service broadcast on television, won Emmy, bested ratings of biggest stars.


Sheen was what we would call today a multimedia personality — from 1925 until 1968, he wrote over seventy-three books, hosted his own radio show, and later, two television shows.

His weekly Sunday night radio broadcast was The Catholic Hour, and he even conducted the first religious service broadcast on television.  In 1951, his television show, Life is Worth Living, consisted of him and a live audience, occasionally speaking with a chalkboard.

It was fairly well known for being able to stand against ratings giants Milton “Uncle Milte” Berle and Frank Sinatra, leading Berle to joke, “He uses old material, too.” Sheen responded in jest that people should start calling him “Uncle Fultie”.

When Sheen won an Emmy in 1952, he accepted the acknowledgment by saying, “I feel it is time I pay tribute to my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

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