Bishop Sheen’s extra gene. Was it to do with angels?


Bishop Fulton Sheen

Was it angels who guided his words?  Listen and read here.  Decide for yourself.

Bishop’s little red book, and its derivative prime time television program, Life Is Worth Living, was an inspiration to millions in the 1950’s and can help us greatly now, in this, our societal hour of darkness, even more so today. As a speaker he was possessed of an elusive extra gene.

Just what was Bishop Sheen’s extra gene? Bishop Sheen was a wonderful and very charming speaker–not at all the sort of man one typically conjures when one thinks of the Catholic clerics. I have heard every speaker of consequence of my day and Sheen ranks as the best in all categories upon which one could legitimately ever possibly judge a speaker: poise, message, charm, bearing, complete confidence, athletic movement, grace, ready smile always, complete grasp of his content and what he wanted to do with it, capable of making the most arcane of subject easily understandable, fearless to take brave positions and hang the consequences, and, above all else, radiant of love for his fellow-man. He also possessed that elusive extra gene that makes a truly great, soaring orator, rise far, far above the merely great speakers–that extra gene–a burning, and yes, Messianic, passion for his God, his country, his subject matter and for all mankind.

#####Here, I present for your edification,  Bishop’s biography in copyright quote from Encyclopedia of World Biography#####

Fulton J. Sheen

During the 1950s, Catholic clergyman Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) hosted Life is Worth Living, a popular television show for which he earned an Emmy Award, and on which he presented his views on religious topics, everyday life, and politics.

One of the unlikeliest successful television personalities of the “Golden Age” in the 1950s was a Catholic clergyman named Fulton Sheen. He was on a small network with few affiliates as a throwaway program slotted against the hugely popular Milton Berle, but caught on and became one of the most popular figures in the country, even drawing admirers from among those who dislike Catholicism. While never really becoming a major figure in the hierarchy of the Catholic church, Sheen was one of its most visible members and an excellent ambassador for the church to the secular world.

Early Years

Peter John Sheen was born May 8, 1895 in El Paso, Illinois, the first of four sons born to Newton Morris Sheen and the former Delta Fulton. The child suffered from tuberculosis at an early age, and was often cared for by his mother’s family. They enrolled him in school as “a Fulton,” and that maiden name became his first name. It was a farming family, but Fulton knew early on he wanted a career in the priesthood. He attended parochial schools in Peoria, Illinois, and at St. Viator’s College in Kankakee, Illinois, then at St. Paul’s Seminary in Minnesota before becoming ordained in Peoria in 1919.


Being a good student, Sheen was sent to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., then to the University of Louvain in Belgium. He obtained his doctorate there in 1923, and received a degree in philosophie with highest honors in 1925 while studying in Paris and Rome. He was teaching theology at St. Edmund’s College in Ware, England, when he was called home to Peoria to take over his first parish.

Eight months later he was transferred to a teacher of philosophy job at Catholic University. He drew attention to himself there through his total dedication to his work, neither smoking nor drinking, taking no holidays, enjoying no luxuries and giving away almost all his earnings. He rose quickly to the rank of full professor, and also was promoted to papal chamberlain, then domestic prelate and Bishop.

Broadcast Career Begins

In 1930 Sheen began his broadcast career, hosting the Sunday evening Catholic Hour program on NBC Radio. In the 1940s he performed some religious services on television, and in 1948 he was guest speaker on the television program Television Chapel on WPIX in New York. Director Edward Stasheff remembered forTelevision Quarterly, “His whole technique was the magnetic effect of the way he looked into the camera. I hate to use a cliché, but the word is ‘telegenic.’ He was made for the medium.”

In 1952 Milton Berle owned Tuesday night television with his 8 p.m. show, Texaco Star Theatre. The small DuMont network decided to put Sheen on the air opposite Berle as something of a sacrificial lamb, thinking a program with no potential may as well be on in a time slot with no chance. Life is Worth Living premiered on February 12, 1952, with the Bishop Fulton Sheen appearing in a long cassock, a gold cross and chain on his chest, a long purple cape and a skull cap, speaking from a set designed to look like a rectory study before an audience at the Adelphi Theatre in midtown Manhattan. The half-hour program consisted of a one-minute commercial for Admiral, followed by a 28-minute talk delivered without notes or teleprompter by the bishop, ended with a two-minute peroration and the sign-off “God love you,” followed by another one-minute commercial for Admiral. This formula proved to be a success.

Sheen’s talks were never straight appeals for loyalty to the Catholic church, but universal in nature, designed to appeal to people of any faith. “Starting with something that was common to the audience and me, I would gradually proceed from the known to the unknown or to the moral and Christian philosophy,” he is quoted as saying in his posthumously published biography, Treasure in Clay. “When I began television nationally and on a commercial basis, I was no longer talking in the name of the church.”

Popularity Increases

Initially, Life is Worth Living aired on only three stations nationwide. The show proved popular with audiences, however, and immediately began cutting into the ratings of Berle and Frank Sinatra, who had a Tuesday night show on CBS. Within two months Sheen’s show was seen on 15 stations, and the bishop was overwhelmed with fan mail and requests to sit in the studio audience. NBC even tried to lure him away from DuMont at one point, but loyalty bid the bishop decline. At the 1952 Emmy Awards, Sheen defeated Edward R. Murrow, Lucille Ball and Arthur Godfrey for the title of Most Outstanding Television Personality. Upon accepting his award, he said, “I wish to thank my four writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

Eventually Sheen’s program was seen by 20 million viewers on 123 stations. His fame grew along with his audience, and one of the things he became known for was performing conversions to Catholicism of well-known people, including Fritz Kreisler, Heywood Broun, Clare Boothe Luce, Henry Ford II and Louis Budenz. He also attracted attention for his political views, and at various times drew heat from both conservatives and liberals. He supported the anti-communist Franco in the Spanish Civil War, while conceding the dictator’s fascism; he also defended corporal punishment in schools and spoke out against Freudian psychology. Following the reforms of Vatican II—which Sheen advised on mission problems—he spoke out against poverty and nuclear war, and alternately opposed and supported U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Throughout the ’50s and most of the ’60s, he also served as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, raising funds for missions around the world.

Sheen Named Archbishop

In 1966 Sheen was named archbishop of Rochester, New York, amid speculation as to whether the church was trying to promote him or neutralize him. He continued the church’s reforms in that area, and was considered progressive in his policies. Questions were raised about his administrative practices, however, and he opted for early retirement in 1969, at the age of 74. He was named titular archbishop and moved to a small apartment in New York City. He underwent open heart surgery in July 1977, and was largely confined to his home until his death from heart disease in 1979.

##### Here, I cease copyright quote from Encyclopedia of World Biography##### 

Bishop Sheen, as does any man who thinks, detested communism in all its awful, twisted, murderous, gaucherie. Appropriately, likewise, he loved the working man, whom the communist, in his diabolical cunning, pretends to care for. Sheen actually did care for the working man. He was brave to address difficult topics. Today, he also writes to us of the farmer and his place in the world. Read his words now that follow and reflect upon them:



By Venerable, Fulton J. Sheen

“I tell you that the great cities rest upon these broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” (William Jennings Bryan, July 9, 1896)

A Financial Depression can empty half the apartments on Park Avenue, in New York City, but it fails to touch the man who owns and tills a few acres of land. The farmer owns real wealth as distinguished from fictional wealth in the form of stocks and bonds. Productive land as a solid basis of economy has not been highly regarded by our modern acquisitive society, but its rediscovery is the condition of national peace.

It has hardly been noted by either the so-called defenders of democracy or their enemies the Communists that the farm,or productive (capital) land, is one of the keys to security. European and American civilization, while praising the tiller of the soil in the abstract, nevertheless look upon him patronizingly, either as a “peasant” as is the case in Europe, or as a “farmer” in America. Peasants are considered either backward, because uneducated in the same way as a city dweller, or else antisocial because they dress badly. But the city slicker with his shirt of many colors, the tail overhanging the trousers like limp sails and his hirsute open neck, can hardly lay claim to being “the glass of fashion and the mold of form.”

The Communists have been slightly more considerate in their propaganda than the Western world, inasmuch as they promise the break-up of large estates. But their emphasis is principally on the proletariat or the factory worker rather than on the peasant. Mao, the Communist former leader of the Chinese tyranny, was at one time under suspicion by the Kremlin because of his favoritism toward the farmers rather than the factory workers.

The unrealistic attitude toward the productive landowner is due in large part to the industrial revolution with its stress on machinery. Even Marx, in his Communist Manifesto believed that “peasant property” would eventually vanish. “We do not need to do away with it. The evolution of industry has done and is daily doing away with it.” Whenever Marx had his eye on the ultimate destruction of anything through his iron socialism of confiscation, he said it would “devolve” into disappearance. He did this for marriage and religion as well as for the farmers’ property. Communism has no doctrine for the peasant except the confiscation of his land, for Communism, being a military and industrial ideology, cannot endure a population whose security is tied to the land rather than to the handouts of a totalitarian state. The liquidation of fifteen million kulaks, or farmers, in the beginning of the Soviet system was planned destructiveness of the individual freedom that belongs to ownership of land. Communism first promises the division of large estates, then taxes the tiller of the land to a point where he submits to collectivization so that in the end landlord ownership becomes state ownership and “the last state of the man is worse than the first.” The transfer of all land to the state and the turning of farmers into “statecroppers” from sharecroppers reduces them to the sub-proletariat class, or the hewers of wood and the drawers of water for the factory workers.

Because even the Western world has given more social approval to the city worker than to the farmer, it has not seen the land as the potential for cracking Communist propaganda in its orbit countries. Instead of promising the enslaved people of Europe deep freezes, bigger automobiles, push button tuning, and electric light bulbs washed in distilled water, it might be well to promise the people the return of their own land and a return to the land.

The vast majority of the Communist-tyrannized peoples are rural, and the Voice of America that promises them the blessings of an industrialized civilization will not appeal nearly as much as a pledge to restore them to their land.

The factory worker with all his boasted “social security” is fundamentally insecure. He works on someone else’s property, uses someone else’s tools, produces increased purchasing power through becoming depersonalized in a mass movement, and in the end has nothing to pass on to his children. The man with a little bit of land is the stable element in society; he is his own boss, has the joy of seeing a seed planted by his own hands grow to fruit, and above all has that sanity and peace that come from being able to put his hands into God’s own earth.

The specter of hunger haunts the earth, because there are not enough humans on land. Half the people now living have never eaten in their lives what we Americans call a “square meal.” An acre and a half of good ground yields enough to keep a person on a balanced diet, but nine tenths of the total land mass of the earth is still unused. A Man is free on the inside because he has a soul. This soul infused by God is the source of his rights. Because he is dependent on God, he is independent of an absolute state. But man must have some guarantee on the outside that he is free. That guarantee is property.

To be able to call something his own is the external side of his internal freedom by which he calls his soul his own. Property thus becomes the economic guarantee of human freedom. Communism had to destroy private ownership of land before it could destroy human freedom. Democracy must work the other way around and sustain liberty by enabling as many citizens as possible to own land which they labor, as the guarantee against a totalitarian state. The farmer is not a survivor of the past; he is the token and promise of a better future.

+Fulton J. Sheen D.D.,Ph.D., published in On Being Human: Reflections, On Life and Living, Fulton J. Sheen, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1982, pg 142-4. In Public Domain under ‘Bishop Sheen Writes’.

“I’m an agriculturalist, I only till the soil. It’s the good Lord who drops the seed. All the plowing or harrowing or cultivating of field without goodwill on the part of the person, and without faith as a gift, would be profitless and vain. Let no one tell you that any priest ever makes a convert. He does not, not any more than he makes the sun rise.”

+ Venerable, Fulton J. Sheen, Milwaukee Sentinel 1968.

“Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that this was a struggle between the idle holders of idle capital and the struggling masses who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country; and my friends, it is simply a question that we shall decide upon which side shall the Democratic Party fight. Upon the side of the idle holders of idle capital, or upon the side of the struggling masses? That is the question that the party must answer first; and then it must be answered by each individual hereafter. The sympathies of the Democratic Party, as described by the platform, are on the side of the struggling masses, who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic Party.

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below [trickle-down]. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.

You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard. I tell you that the great cities rest upon these broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.”

-William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold, Speech given at the Democratic National Convention, July 9, 1896

“America needs religious conviction and a stanch adherence to sound principles if they are to meet the threat of communism on a long-term basis. Communism is a faith and it can be combated only by those who have a strong faith in Christianity.”

— Fulton J. Sheen, 1952, Silver Jubilee of Rev. Thomas J. Toolen.

Bishop spoke and wrote on many topics–always with love and a burning passion for his topic. Here are some other topics he addresses:

Let us raise a standard – Part I, II, III, IV, V. Bishop Fulton Sheen

The American Dream And Nightmare.

Are the lights still On? (Soul)

Three Dimensional Politics.

The political Kiss of Betrayal – Bishop Fulton Sheen

Fanaticism – Bishop Fulton Sheen, July 16, 1955

Atlas Shrugs Easter – Bishop Fulton Sheen

The Fulton Sheen twist: Is Man Dead? or Is God Dead ?

True Ownership — Fulton J. Sheen

Birth Patrol the New Sentry – Bishop Sheen, 1960

America, contempt of Good Conscience?

“Just for Kicks” – The loss of a moral standard.

Let us raise a standard of Moral Conviction.

A time will come, . . .

God’s Thunder of Courage!

Leaders are Scarce


Why is July 4th sacred?

Parasites or Success


Deja vu -The New Capitalists’

A Better Concept of Freedom – Freedom in Danger!

“Societal Chaos” – Fulton Sheen / Adam Smith

This Nation’s greatest Political and Economic ‘Deficit’.

The Political and Economic Moral Challenge

On the Will of Liberty;

The New Slavery

New Slavery, not so new.

The Problem of Property – Fulton J. Sheen, 1969

Capitalism and Socialism or Capitalism and Communism? – Three parts

Revolutionary Change; Private Property Ownership

On Cooking Eggs by Fulton J. Sheen

The American Psychoses and Neuroses

The Importance of ‘Persons’

The Person and the State

The Forty Percent

Nowadays, we make them leaders.

God’s Thunder of Courage!


Have We Forgotten Obedience?

That explains it! – Quotes from Fulton J. Sheen

Bishop Sheen, as does any man who thinks, detested communism in all its awful, twisted, murderous, gaucherie. Appropriately, likewise, he loved the working man, whom the communist, in his diabolical cunning, pretends to care for. Sheen actually did care for the working man. He was brave to address difficult topics. Today, he also writes to us of the farmer and his place in the world. Read his words now that follow and reflect upon them:

Today, Bishop  has given us all much food for thought.  Kindly attend to him carefully.


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