SANDPOINT, IDAHO - APRIL 17, 2023. A dead-stopped Cause for Canonization for one of America’s most beloved bishops has spurred an urgent petition to reopen and move forward with his cause for sainthood and to put a spotlight on the paused cause. Led by Dr. Peter Howard, founder of the Fulton J. Sheen Institute, the petition aims to reignite the Cause for Canonization of Fulton Sheen with a SET THE DATE FOR SHEEN campaign.
“A baby resurrection miracle has been approved and all aspects of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s tenure as Bishop of Rochester thoroughly investigated by Rome and the state of New York Attorney General’s office with nothing found to impede his cause,” said Dr. Peter Howard, founder of the Fulton J. Sheen Institute and architect of the global petition. “Sheen, an Emmy Award-winning Catholic bishop, was a media pioneer, often characterized as America’s first televangelist, and author of over 70 published works such as Treasure in Clay, Three to Get Married, Lift Up Your Heart, Life of Christ, and The World’s First Love. He brought Christ to the masses and yet his date with destiny, the date to elevate him to sainthood, has been slow-walked, blocked, and utterly forgotten. We won’t let that happen.”
We applaud the many years of tireless work of the Diocese of Peoria and the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, first led by Bishop Jenky and now by Bishop Tylka. Peoria not only carried out the canonical process to bring the cause of Sheen to this important goal of beatification, they also were united with the family of Sheen in its legal battle to obtain the now fitting resting place of Sheen’s body in the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria, where Venerable Sheen was ordained a priest.
The stunning silence from the Vatican and American Catholic hierarchy, nor any signal that this will move forward, is what ignited the Fulton Sheen Movement and its global petition, the SET THE DATE FOR SHEEN campaign. The Movement’s founder, Dr. Peter Howard, stated Sheen’s universal impact and significance were demonstrated within the first 15 hours of the petition’s launch as signatures came in from all six inhabited continents. Ven. Fulton J. Sheen was scheduled to be beatified in December 2019, when just weeks before the anticipated Peoria event, the beatification was abruptly canceled with no explanation from Catholic officials.
“This is a scandal,” said Dr. Howard. “Bishop Sheen was America’s bishop, but his impact around the world is undeniable. He was a missionary and took the Gospel to the ends of the earth - the impoverished, the destitute, and the spiritually poor and disenfranchised. He went to the peripheries through the media and traveled as a missionary to developing countries around the world. His intercession brought a baby back to life after being dead for over an hour.”
Dr. Howard clarified what this petition movement is about, “It’s very simple. This is about rescheduling the Mass for beatification. Period. Everything required canonically by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for Sheen to be Blessed has been completed since 2014. The legal drama over his body was concluded in 2019. At that same time, on 5 July 2019, Pope Francis issued a decree verifying a miracle through the intercession of Venerable Sheen. That cleared the way for a date to be set for the ceremonial Mass during which Fulton Sheen would be declared 'Blessed.' Pope Francis moved quickly at that point to schedule that Mass for 21 December 2019 in Peoria. There remain no impediments for delaying the Mass for Sheen’s beatification. Sheen is clean, heroic and the saint needed for our times. It's time to set the date to draw attention to him as 'Blessed.'”
This is why Dr. Howard is calling Catholics everywhere to petition the bishops of the United States to tell Rome “It’s time to set the date.” Sheen’s cause and significance extend way beyond a single diocese. Sheen’s cause is for the whole Church. Who better to reignite that spark and fan it into flame than the lay movement Fulton Sheen himself prophesied would save the Church in our times.
To support this effort, Dr. Howard is asking Catholic writers, podcasters, and radio and television news outlets to bring him on as a guest to help spread the truth about Sheen’s beatification, why this is so important for our times and to help this petition reach its first goal of 200,000 signatures as quickly as possible.
“We can accomplish this goal within weeks if just a few of the Catholic influencers with large followings step up courageously and as true leaders, sign the petition and invite their listeners to do the same,” said Dr. Howard. A simple yet powerful action plan every Catholic can do right now to bring the reality of “Blessed Fulton Sheen” closer and faster, is to click on the following:
SHARE the Petition within your social communities and email lists (reach at least 5 people and have them duplicate that)
DONATE to help spread the importance of Sheen and his beatification throughout the world
To interview Dr. Peter Howard, please contact Chantal Howard, at (719)-659-4473 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fulton Sheen Movement is a global initiative that promotes, shares, and spreads the work and teachings of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen to a world in crisis. It is a grassroots movement to have Fulton Sheen proclaimed “Blessed” within the Catholic Church and later canonized a saint. This movement sets out to galvanize, inspire and form, in a like-minded fashion to that of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, bold, courageous, and influential Catholics everywhere. We seek to build a movement of Catholics who share the conviction to convey the beauty, power and truth of the Catholic ethos to the world through means of media, cultural engagement, leadership development, evangelization efforts and personal devotion.
Through live events, media, and educational initiatives, we teach people how to live the Christian philosophy of life in every facet of their lives so that, like Fulton Sheen, people everywhere will rise up and embrace their call to live a life worth living in communion with Christ and His Blessed Mother for the good of souls.
The Fulton Sheen Movement embodies and extends the core values that were close to the heart of Archbishop Sheen: a passion for the salvation of souls, dedication to the Holy Eucharist and Our Blessed Mother, the revitalization of the priesthood and a heart that remains close to the poor and vulnerable. The Fulton Sheen Movement is built on a foundation of faith, integrity, and dedicated supporters who
share this call to restore all things in Christ.
Dr. Peter Howard holds a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Angelicum in Rome. His passion IS Venerable Fulton J. Sheen -- the man and the mission.
Dr. Howard is a leading expert on the teachings of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen and the founder and president of the
Fulton Sheen Institute, which exists to continue the implementation of Sheen's mission and teachings. He is the author of The Woman: Mary as Mediatrix in the Teaching of Fulton J. Sheen -- the authoritative book on Sheen's Mariology -- and has traveled internationally, helping others discover this future saint and advancing his cause.
Peter has been featured on Catholic television and radio programs such as EWTN, Catholic Answers Live, the Patrick Madrid Show, CatholicTV, Shalom World, Radio Maria, and Relevant Radio.
Peter is married to wholeness and business coach
Chantal Howard, and they have six children. They enjoy a peaceful life in the mountains of North Idaho. Dr. Howard and his wife Chantal are also the founders of Heroic Families.
“Who’s going to save our Church?
It’s not our bishops, it’s not our priests and it is not the religious.
It is up to you, the people.
You have the minds, the eyes and the ears to save the Church.
Your mission is to see that the priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and the religious act like religious.”
--Venerable Fulton Sheen