Friday, June 28, 2013

Anniversary of Venerable

Exactly one year today on June 28, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI declared Archbishop Fulton Sheen “VENERABLE”.  It has been an exciting year!  The Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky celebrated the Mass of Thanksgiving on September 9th in the very Cathedral Venerable Sheen served as an altar boy, received his first communion, was ordained a priest and celebrated his first Mass.  Last weekend we had a special retreat for our ‘Sheen leaders’, we were all challenged to find a way in which we can help to spread the word about this great Cause for Beatification and Canonization. 

As we try to bring people closer to Christ through Archbishop Fulton Sheen and move this Cause forward, I also wish to ask you to reflect upon simple ways you can get more people involved. Forwarding this note to friends and let them know about our daily quotes on Facebook and Twitter. Introduce them to our web site so they can view our prayers for Canonization and to request a favor through the intercession of Fulton Sheen. I ask that you consider making a pledge to share Archbishop Sheen and this Cause with someone this week.

Today we celebrate the Memorial of St. Irenaeus. This Bishop’s writings entitled him to a high place among the fathers of the Church who laid the foundations for Christian theology and refuted the errors of Gnostics. Tomorrow we celebrate the Solemnity of Peter and Paul. Our beloved Archbishop Sheen had much to say about Bishops and Popes but the quote I wish to share with you is from the book ‘This is Rome’ where Sheen talks about Peter, our first Pope.

“He who called Himself the Good Shepherd now confers His shepherding powers on the man called Peter. He named a new Pontiff; in those very towns which represented the sovereignty of the Caesars, He created a new sovereignty, based not on armies of screaming legions, but on Divine authority communicated only after Peter had three times pledged his love of the Divine Master. Rome would indeed remain the center of the world’s unity and all roads would continue to lead to Rome, but the dynasty of Caesar who made himself a god would give place to the dynasty of a Peter who called himself the servant of the servants of God…an unbroken succession of life truth and love.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Msgr. Stanley Deptula
Executive Director

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happy Anniversary Venerable Fulton Sheen

Today is the anniversary of Fulton J. Sheen he was consecrated a Bishop in Rome by Adeodato Giovanni Cardinal Piazza in the Church of Sts. John & Paul on June 11, 1951. Sheen was named by Pope Pius XII as titular Bishop of Caeseropolis.

Saint Paul wrote: “It is an honorable ambition to aspire to be a Bishop.” Sheen reflected that in the early day’s many bishops became martyrs and it was a much more uncomfortable post of leadership than it is today. Bishop Kelly of Oklahoma City asked Msgr. Fulton Sheen for permission to submit his name to Rome as a bishop. Sheen asked for a few days to think it over then wrote: “There are two ways in which one advances in the Church. One is by a push from below, the other is by a gift from above.” He explained by a push from below he meant influence or intercession by another. By a gift from above he meant an appointment by the Holy See under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and without the influence of men. He wrote in his letter to Bishop Kelly that since his invitation was a push from below and not a gift from above I would have to refuse. Archbishop Quinn of San Francisco who was formerly the Bishop of Oklahoma told Sheen that he saw that letter in the files of the diocese. Sheen later learned that his being named Bishop was through the good graces of Cardinal Spellman.

“What does it mean to be a bishop? When Our Blessed Lord first called Peter and the other Apostles to Himself, He said that from now on they would catch souls instead of fish. Whether or not a promotion in the Church increases the ability to fill nets is another matter. Statistics do not prove that one can catch more fish seated on the bank dressed in purple than when dressed in black. Rather, it would seem that the responsibility increases because a fisherman uses only a hook, but a bishop uses a crosier, or a crook. That means that he is to increase Christ’s fold whether they be fish or lambs, ‘by hook and by crook.’” Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

In honor of the ‘Year of Faith’ on this day, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Holy Father will preside over a special Eucharistic adoration that will extend at the same time all over the world involving the cathedrals and parishes in each diocese. For an hour at 5PM (Rome time), the whole world will be united in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. What a true blessing. I am sending out this note to make sure that wherever you are on this great Solemnity, you join the WORLD in prayer. This will happen at 10am Central. We are having a special adoration at 10am here in Peoria at the Cathedral where Fulton Sheen was ordained and Mass will then start at 10:30am for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. I wish to share with you Venerable Fulton Sheen’s thoughts on how the Eucharist is both a sacrifice and a sacrament.
May the Body of Christ dwell within you,

Msgr. Stanley Deptula
Executive Director

“The Sacrament of the Eucharist has two sides: it is both a sacrifice and a sacrament. Inasmuch as biological life is nothing but a reflection, a dim echo, and a shadow of the divine life, one can find analogies in the natural order for the beauties of the divine. Does not nature itself have a double aspect: a sacrifice and a sacrament? The vegetables which are served at table, the meat which is presented on the platter, are the natural sacraments of the body of man. By them he lives. If they were endowed with speech, they would say: ‘Unless you have communion with me, you will not live.’

But if one inquires as to how the lower creation of chemicals, vegetables or meats came to be the sacrament or the communion of man, one is immediately introduced to the idea of sacrifice. Did not the vegetables have to be pulled up by their roots from the earth, submitted to the law of death, and then pass through the ordeal of fire before they could become the sacrament of physical life, or have communion with the body? Was not the meat on the platter once a living thing, and was it not submitted to the knife, its blood shed on the soil of a natural Gethsemane and Calvary before it was fit to be presented to man?

Nature, therefore suggests that a sacrifice must precede a sacrament; death is the prelude to a communion. In some way, unless the thing dies, it does not begin to live in a higher kingdom. To have, for example, a communion service without a sacrifice would be, in the natural order, like eating our vegetables uncooked, and our meat in the raw. When we come face to face with the realities of life, we see that we live by what we slay. It was our sins that slew Christ on Calvary, and yet by the power of God risen from the dead and reigning gloriously in Heaven, He now becomes our life and has communion with us and we with Him. In the divine order, there must be the Sacrifice or the Consecration of the Mass before there can be the sacrament or the Communion of the soul and God.” Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen (These are the Sacraments)