Venerable Archbishop Fulton John Sheen?
1950's TV personality with 30 million weekly viewers?
Author of 66 books?
Winner of an Emmy?
Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith?
Oh, and the guy that has a cause up for his canonization?
I've been getting to know Fulton Sheen since my days at the Newman Center in college. It was recommended that I read The World's First Love, which helped me understand the Blessed Mother more as well as a lot about what it means to be a woman. I mean, who can't love a guy who says this:
"To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women."
But I have to say that I did not know that much else about Sheen (except that he was from the Peoria area) until my good friends named their son after him, and then asked for his intercession in healing baby James Fulton after he was stillborn and without a pulse for 61 minutes.
Needless to say, that started a little more research, reading, and YouTube watching on my part. And I got hooked on this man who unabashedly taught and lived his faith. He was dynamic, he was an extraordinary teacher, and his messages are still relevant today.
"You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a loyal son of the Church."
Fast forward a bit to my current teaching assignment of some very inquisitive, busy, and hands-on Catholic 5th graders. Add in a long drive every day, which inevitably gives me too much time to think. And I felt a personal challenge to introduce my kids to this inspiring man in this exciting time of his hopefully-soon-to-be-beatification. I asked my principal what she thought of my ideas, and before I was even sure where this was going, she was on the phone with the Superintendent of Catholic Schools and the Bishop's Office. So with no looking back, I am planning some (hopefully) awesome opportunities and activities surrounding Fulton Sheen. There are many items in my religion curriculum that can be covered through the lens of his life. I also needed a topic to teach research and expository writing, so this fits in there, too.
So, here we go. I'll be posting activities and stories about how this journey goes.
(content originally posted March 21, 2013 here)