Cathedral to host monthly devotions for Sheen cause

The Diocese of Peoria is about to introduce monthly devotions at St. Mary’s Cathedral seeking the Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercession
in the canonization cause of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

Archbishop Sheen is a native of El Paso who was ordained a diocesan priest and later gained worldwide fame as a radio and television host, prolific author, and gifted orator.

Effective Sept. 6, the Masses and devotions at the cathedral will take place on the first Saturday of every month beginning at 10:30 a.m.

“It is important that we pray at the cathedral — the mother church for Catholics from throughout central Illinois — as we pray that God may ‘raise to the altars’ one of our very own brothers,” said Father Stanley
Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Cause. It was at St. Mary’s Cathedral that the diocese’s famous native son learned to be an altar server and was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 20, 1919.

“Through the grace of that ordination, God called him to a ministry truly for the Universal Church,” said Father Deptula. “I think that the cathedral
has a special place in the heart of every priest of our diocese, and it had a special place in the priestly heart of Fulton Sheen.”

Archbishop Sheen also had a strong devotion to Mary, so First Saturday devotions in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary would be an appropriate way to pray for his sainthood cause, said Father Deptula.

The start of First Saturday devotions at St. Mary’s Cathedral is just one manifestation of what Father Deptula calls a “renewed excitement” to support Archbishop Sheen’s sainthood cause, and “to invite people into
a deeper relationship with Jesus through the example and teaching
of Bishop Sheen.”

In Rome, the preparation of the Vatican’s official public copy of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Archbishop Sheen has been completed.

On July 14, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, postulator of the cause, invited Msgr. Richard Soseman, who had overseen the cause’s diocesan phase, to come to his office and see the volumes.

Meanwhile, various plans are under way in the United States to support the cause and celebrate Archbishop Sheen’s life. The Sheen Foundation’s annual summer meeting recently took place in New York, with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and Father Deptula in attendance.

This fall the Sheen Foundation will begin distributing new prayer cards for the cause.

Peoria will celebrate Archbishop Sheen’s birthday on May 8. In the
fall of 2009, the diocese will mark the 90th anniversary of his priestly ordination with a special celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Sheen Holy Hours continue at St. Mary’s Church, El Paso, every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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