July 28, 2010 // Local

Documentary released about beloved Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades holds a prayer card of Archbishop Fulton Sheen at the screening of the documentary, “Servant of All,” held July 19 at the Allen County Public Library.

FORT WAYNE — Archbishop Fulton John Sheen has been called one of the greatest communicators of the 20th century. Archbishop Fulton Sheen was a universally popular evangelist, Emmy Award-winning radio/TV personality, writer and missionary. A new film produced by the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation in Peoria, Ill., tells the story of Sheen, who reached 30 million viewers weekly with his television series, “Life is Worth Living.”

Now, more than 50 years later, Archbishop Sheen is seen again in this new, hour-long documentary, “Servant of All.” The film tells the story of a farm boy, born and raised in Central Illinois, and his rise to fame as one of the most widely recognized Catholic leaders. Video clips, photographs and personal testimony display Bishop Sheen in a new light, portraying the triumphs and struggles of this American icon.

“Servant of All” was shown on Monday, July 19, at the Allen County Public Library and again on Tuesday, July 27, at St. Matthew Cathedral Parish in South Bend.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades attended the Fort Wayne screening and released the following statement: “I enjoyed the film on Archbishop Sheen very much. It was wonderful to see his popularity as a preacher and teacher of the faith. Even more edifying to me was his faith in the latter years of his life when he experienced the purifying power of the Holy Spirit through suffering. His dedication to the missions was also an inspiration.”

The film has not yet been released to the general public, and is only available through private screenings in dioceses across the United States in a grassroots effort to share the life of Archbishop Sheen. Attendees will be able to purchase copies of the film as well as sign up to host their own private screenings.

On Oct. 3, 1979, during his visit to America, Venerable Pope John Paul II embraced Archbishop Sheen in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral and gave a perfect summary of his life and work: “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You have been a loyal son of the Church!”

Archbishop Sheen is currently being considered for canonization to sainthood. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., opened the cause for his canonization in 2002. Should Archbishop Sheen be named a saint, he would be the first American-born bishop and television personality to be canonized.

The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation is the official promoter of the cause. The purpose of the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation is to make known the life, works and thoughts of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen; to bring people to Christ through Archbishop Sheen; and to advance the Cause for the Canonization of Archbishop Sheen in the Catholic Church, according to the process prescribed in the Code of Canon Law under the supervision of the bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill.

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