Countless numbers of Catholics rejoiced in the July 6 announcement that the Vatican formally approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, paving the way for his beatification and, hopefully in due time, his canonization. The EWTN family welcomed the news with particular gratification, as Venerable Sheen paved the way for the media apostolate we share.
The Catholic Church has a long history of using the available technology to proclaim the Gospel, and Venerable Sheen used the medium of television, still in its infancy, to such ends that his weekly Life Is Worth Living broadcast is believed to have been the most popular religious series in the history of television. And owing to today’s technology that has transformed the media, his radio broadcasts and books continue to reach the digital generation.
With Archbishop Sheen’s witness as a model, Mother Angelica became another Catholic media pioneer, working tirelessly to spread the Gospel around the world, despite a lifetime of obstacles and health challenges. She lived out a valuable quote from Venerable Sheen’s book Life of Christ: “Whenever man attempts to do what he knows to be the Master’s will, a power will be given him equal to the duty.”
Mother derived inspiration from the legacy of her accomplished predecessor in the media. Her apostolate, begun two years after Archbishop Sheen’s death, has become the largest Catholic media apostolate in the world.
All of us who seek and find inspiration and formation in Catholic media today owe a debt of gratitude for the path blazed by Archbishop Sheen and continued by Mother Angelica at EWTN. Let us pray that the Lord will continue to build on the foundation they laid by raising up men and women devoted to sharing the truth of the Gospel in every age.
God bless you!