Catholic World Report
Remembering ‘Uncle Fulty’
Joan Sheen Cunningham shares poignant memories of her uncle, Venerable Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, in Catholic World Report exclusive
SAN FRANCISCO, SEPT. 25, 2012 – Joan Sheen Cunningham still remembers making the rounds in New York City with her “Uncle Fulty” – Venerable Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.
“Since he was known for his generosity, people would often come up and ask him for money, telling him they were down on their luck,” she told writer Jim Graves. “He’d hand them $20. I’d ask him, ‘How do you know that they’re not putting you on; that they really need help?’ He’d answer, ‘I can’t take the chance.’”
In a fascinating Q&A – available now at CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT – Cunningham, 85, shares poignant memories of the man she called “a second father” after her family sent her to school in the Big Apple from their home in Peoria, Ill., when she was 10 – in the care of her uncle Fulton. Her Dad was one of Venerable Archbishop Sheen’s younger brothers, Joseph. More than possibly anyone, she witnessed the amazing holiness of the man elevated to Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year. “He was always faithful to his daily Holy Hour,” she said, “even when he was traveling in Africa. His whole attitude and outlook had a spiritual tone. I remember, for example, him telling me to ‘hold material things with a detached spirit. That way, if you lose them, it doesn’t matter.’”
Pope Benedict XVI formally recognized Archbishop Sheen’s heroic virtue on June 28, elevating him to Venerable. This next step in his Cause for Canonization resulted from an investigation opened in 2002 by Most Rev. Daniel Jenky, Bishops of Peoria, Ill. Bishop Jenky led a Sept. 9 Mass of Celebration in Peoria, at which Cunningham and other members of the Sheen family welcomed a “Who’s Who” of Venerable Archbishop Sheen’s best friends – and a new generation of followers.
Ignatius Press has an exclusive 2-DVD set on Venerable Archbishop Sheen available at http://www.ignatius.com/Products/SOA-M/archbishop-fulton-sheen.aspx.
For more information on CATHOLIC WORLD REPORT or to schedule interviews with Editor-in-Chief Carl Olson, please contact Alexis Walkenstein (561-445-5409 or AWalkenstein@MaximusMG.com); Tim Lilley (678-990-9032 or TLilley@MaximusMG.com) or Kevin Wandra (678-990-9032 or KWandra@MaximusMG.com) of The Maximus Group.