By Emily Stimpson
Masterful preaching of Archbishop Fulton Sheen
New book details the popular American archbishop’s prayerful dedication to preparing and delivering powerful homilies that kept pews packed
“A miniature St. Peter’s Square.” That’s how one observer described the scene outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral when then-Father Fulton Sheen preached his annual Good Friday homily. On that day, thousands would fill the streets of New York, straining to hear the homily, which was broadcast via loudspeaker to all those unable to fit into the overflowing cathedral. The traffic on Fifth Avenue literally stopped while he spoke.
Those homilies give a glimpse into the power and beauty of Archbishop Sheen’s preaching, a power and beauty that Father Timothy Sherwood, author of “The Preaching of Archbishop Fulton Sheen: The Gospel Meets the Cold War” (Lexington Books, $60), believes was achieved as much by method as by grace.
Recently, Our Sunday Visitor sat down to talk with Father Sherwood about his book and just what it was that made Archbishop Sheen such an unparalleled homilist.