Two former New Yorkers on path to sainthood
Pope Benedict XVI declared as “Venerable” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who is buried below the altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, and Sister Mary Angeline Teresa, who founded the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirmed, Cardinal Dolan wrote in his blog on the Archdiocese of New York web site, Archny.org.
“Venerable” is the second step along the way to beatification and, ultimately, canonization.
While Archbishop Sheen is best known for his work in the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., headed by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, is pushing for sainthood since he grew up, was ordained and served as a priest in that Midwestern community.
Joseph Delaney of Pleasant Plains serves on the national board for the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, which is the primary organization promoting the cause of his sainthood. Delaney said he was “ecstatic” when he received an e-mail from Monsignor Stanley Deptula of Peoria, executive director of the foundation, spreading the good news about Pope Benedict’s decree affirming the heroic virtues of Archbishop Sheen.
“New Yorkers like myself are proud to be part of the cause,” said Delaney, who in April was selected as the first-ever recipient of the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association’s Volunteer of the Year award.
Delaney was a boy growing up in West Orange, N.J., attending St. John’s Grammar School, when he first saw and heard then-Bishop Sheen speak on the Dumont TV Network, locally broadcast on Channel 5. He remembers sitting down with his family after dinner to watch Archbishop Sheen’s TV show, “Life is Worth Living.”
The clergyman’s messages were aimed mainly at adults and, Delaney believes, had meaning for all Christians, not only Roman Catholics.
“I’ve always had a love and veneration for Archbishop Sheen,” Delaney said. “I consider him a hero of mine.”
As coordinator of Adult Religious Education at St. Joseph-St. Thomas Parish, Delaney continues the mission of Archbishop Sheen.
“One of the reasons why I got myself involved in Adult Religious Education at St. Joseph-St. Thomas was I was inspired by the example of Archbishop Sheen,” Delaney said.
Pope John Paul II gave Archbishop Sheen the nickname “Preacher to the World,” referring to the many years that the preacher spent working in radio, television, and for the missions, Cardinal Dolan said. [More]