.- The famous Catholic evangelist Archbishop Fulton Sheen's reputation for holiness and his impact on Catholics and non-Catholics alike has led to his cause for beatification being opened. Bill Engelbrecht, a member of the Archbishop Sheen Foundationâs board of directors, told CNA recently that the cause is progressing âquite well.â
The foundation, Engelbrecht explained, is kept informed of the beatification causeâs progress in Rome, and it is âon track.â
âThe process is lengthy and it is undetermined. It can take from a few years to a few hundred years. Itâs very difficult to actually assess oneâs progress,â he said.
Engelbrecht related that several âsignificantâ events had taken place in New Jersey, Texas, and other states. Upcoming events are planned for Georgia, Oklahoma City, and in Peoria, Illinois, Sheenâs birthplace.
âEverything has been moving in the right direction,â he said, adding that the foundation is promoting ways to make Archbishop Sheen better known to clergy and to younger generations, such as mp3 audio files, Facebook, the micro-blogging site Twitter and other new media.
âIf you read Archbishop Sheen, he was able to strike a chord with almost every generation from the very young to the very old,â Engelbrecht said. âHe was eminently accessible, he was charismatic, people liked him, people listened to him.â
One of his great lessons was about âhow to live your life.â
âObviously that was captured in his program âLife is Worth Living.â Thatâs a perfect title for what he had to say to us.â
He said that people touched by Archbishop Sheen exist everywhere.
âGo anywhere a large group of Catholics are assembled and bring up Archbishop Sheen. Youâll have somebody say how he affected them, or somebody close to them. He just touched so many people that itâs just amazing. It just repeats itself everywhere you go.â
He noted how one man, a recovering addict and alcoholic, drove nine hours to an Archbishop Sheen Foundation event to tell how one of the archbishopâs books affected him.
âHe never met him. Someone by accident asked him to read a book of [Sheenâs]. He believes this man changed his life.â
Asked how Catholics might participate in advancing Archbishop Sheenâs cause, Engelbrecht said there would be a significant event at St. Patrickâs Cathedral in New York City in December.
He encouraged people to expose themselves to Archbishop Sheenâs books and to his writings.
âSimply go to the Archbishop Sheen Foundation website,â he said, explaining that there were opportunities to receive prayer cards, relic cards, information about the beatification process and information about how to support his cause.
The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundationâs web site is located at http://www.archbishopsheencause.org/