1895–Born on May 8th in El Paso, Illinois, the oldest of four sons of Newton and Delia Fulton Sheen though he was baptized Peter John, throughout his life he was known by his mother’s maiden name, Fulton. After his baptism, his mother dedicated him to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a dedication he himself renewed at his First Holy Communion. He lived with his family for a time on a farm outside Peoria, Illinois.
1900–His family moved to Peoria in order that young Fulton could enroll in St. Mary’s Cathedral [Parochial] School. He often served Mass at the Cathedral.
1909–He attended High School at the Spalding Institute in Peoria staffed by the Brothers of Mary.
1917–He attended St. Viator’s College, Bourbonnais, Illinois, and later St. Paul’s Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
1919–On September 20th, Fulton Sheen was ordained a “Priest forever” for the Diocese of Peoria. At the time of his Priestly Ordination, he made his famous promise to make a “Eucharistic Holy Hour” which he kept faithfully for the rest of his life.
1920–After ordination he began two years of postgraduate studies in Theology at Catholic University in Washington D.C., and another year at the University of Louvain in Belgium.
1923–He attended further theological classes at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Angelicum in Rome.
1923–He returned to the University of Louvain where he became the first American to receive the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy as well as attain-ing the “Aggrage” degree with outstanding distinction.
1925–He spent 9 months working in St. Patrick’s, an inner city parish in Peoria.
1926–He began teaching Theology, then Philosophy and Religion at Catholic University in Washington DC. He was to remain there till 1950. He also began local radio broadcasting in the New York area.
1930–He began his national radio broadcast, “The Catholic Hour” which continued for some 22 years, reaching an estimated four million listeners.
1934–He became a Very Rev. Monsignor.
1935–He is made Right Rev. Monsignor.
1950–He become the National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith supervising 129 diocesan directors throughout the country. He held this position till 1966.
1951–He was consecrated a Bishop in Rome by Cardinal Piazza in the Church of Sts. John & Paul on June 11, 1951.In the Fall of 1951 he began his famous television series entitled, “Life is Worth Living”. It eventually reached an estimated 30 million viewers each week. He won an Emmy Award for “Most Outstanding Television Personality” in 1952. His series ran with great success till 1957.
1962–He attended all of the Vatican Council sessions in Rome, ending in 1965.
1966–He was named Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, New York on October 26th.
1969–He resigned as Bishop of Rochester. As he said, “I am not retiring, only retreading”. Pope Paul VI named him Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport (Wales). The Archbishop remained relatively active, spending last years of his life chiefly in writing and preaching.
1979–On October 3rd, the Archbishop experienced one of the greatest moments of his life when Pope John Paul II embraced him in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Holy Father said to him, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You are a loyal son of the Church!”. On December 9th God called the Archbishop from this life to his eternal reward.
2000–On September 14th, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints officially opened the Cause of Archbishop Sheen, and conferred on him the title “Servant of God”.