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The Movie

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All

"Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All." No truer words have ever been written. For decades, Fulton Sheen served as a shining example of what it means to serve God. His television show, "Life is Worth Living," reached 30 million viewers a week, and his words were captured in over 100 publications. His inspiration came not just from his teachings, however. Millions were influenced by the way he lived and by witnessing his personal relationship with God.

This film, "Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All," introduces this beloved priest to a new generation — a generation that desperately needs this shining example of what it means to serve God. His messages remain as relevant and powerful today as they were nearly a half-century ago. Through the stories of those who knew him, viewers are reminded of his life and works. He lives on in the memories of those whose lives he forever changed.

The Man

 

Probably no other American has done more to endear people to the Catholic faith than the beloved Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Beginning in 1930 and for 22 years thereafter, his radio show, "The Catholic Hour," reached millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Then from 1951 to 1957, his groundbreaking television program, "Life is Worth Living," reached an estimated 30 million viewers each week. Archbishop Sheen touched so many lives that he would receive as many as 25,000 letters a day.

When you consider that he wrote 66 books, 62 booklets and thousands of letters, served as editor of two magazines for 16 years, and was a syndicated columnist in the secular press for 30 years, there is a reason why the Jesuit magazine "America" once called him "the greatest evangelizer in the history of the Catholic Church of the United States."

His impact as National Director for the Propagation of the Faith was equally important to the Church. For 16 years, he led this effort for 129 dioceses throughout the United States and influenced the lives of tens of millions of people all over the world.

Even today, nearly 30 years after his death, he is still quoted widely. His books are still read and his original broadcasts are viewed by millions in over 177 countries on the Eternal World Television Network.

In 2002, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints officially opened the Cause for Archbishop Sheen's Canonization and conferred on him the title Servant of God.

The Purpose

As Father Andrew Apostoli has said, "Our Church needs a hero of the faith like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and maybe now more than ever. We can't let his voice go silent; there's too much at stake."

The film "Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All" was developed by The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation to ensure this hero lives on to inspire new generations. The Foundation's mission is to make known the life, works and thoughts of Archbishop Sheen — and this film is perhaps its most important effort in leading others to a deeper relationship with God and His Church using Sheen's example. The goal of the film is to fill viewers with the same zeal for the Church that Archbishop Sheen himself experienced.

Synopsis

"Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Servant of All" is a one-hour documentary that tells the story of Sheen and the tremendous impact he had on individuals, the Catholic community, the American public, and the world. Divided into five main sections, the film uses still images, video footage and interviews with those who knew Sheen to tell the story of this remarkable man, gifted teacher, missionary, priest, and loyal son of the Church.

Learning. Tells the story of Sheen’s early years, from birth to ordination, including his early academic and debating successes, which set the stage for his accomplishments to come. The section ends with his ordination and lifelong commitment to the Holy Hour and the Eucharist.

Teaching. Begins with his return to Peoria, Ill., and his service as a parish priest. Covers his years as a professor and author, the beginnings of his missionary focus as he traveled the world, and the start of his media career with the Catholic Hour radio show.

Preaching. Tells the story of Sheen as director of the Propagation of the Faith and ends with his move to Rochester, N.Y. This section also focuses on the impact of his television show, and his humility in the face of unprecedented popularity. Viewers learn how his speaking style and power to communicate impacted others, from individuals to the world.

Giving. Covers his focus on giving — what he did with his incredible wealth from royalties and donations and his dedication to giving both money and time to the less fortunate. Also discusses the impact of his writings and his participation in Vatican II.

Suffering. Tells the story of Sheen’s illness, loss of popularity and his reaction to a changing world. Also focuses on his final push to promote the priesthood, his dwindling health and the culmination of his life with an embrace by the Pope.

Participants

Hundreds of hours of interviews were conducted to capture the stories of those who knew Sheen and/or were impacted by his life, his writings and his teachings. Participants included:

Father Andrew Apostoli
Vice-Postulator for the Cause of the Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Grace Aune
Personal encounter

Megan Bordelon
Teacher, Loyola University New Orleans

Sister Marlene Brownett, SHCJ

Joan Sheen Cunningham
Niece

Oscar Delgado
Former media consultant

Reverend Monsignor Stanley Deptula
Executive Director, The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation

Most Reverend Timothy Dolan
Archbishop of New York

Most Reverend John Flesey
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, N.J.

Patricia Brophy Flynn
Family friend

Rosemary Freehill
Personal encounter

Kathy Kearney Grobler
Personal encounter

Diane Brophy Haycock
Family friend

Larry Hickey
Founding member, The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation

Tom Hoey, Jr.
Impacted by Sheen

Yolanda Holliger
Relative

Most Reverend Daniel Jenky, CSC
Bishop of Peoria, Illinois

 

Michael Kearney
Personal encounter

Reverend Monsignor John Kozar
Director, Society for the Propagation of the Faith

Dominic Limpin, RN
Impacted by Sheen

Regis Philbin
Television personality

Thomas Reeves
Sheen biographer

Kathleen Riley
Sheen biographer

Janel Rodriguez
Sheen biographer

Delores Sheen
Relative

Reverend Monsignor Richard Soseman
Congregation for the Clergy, Vatican City

Bernadette Brophy Stickelmaier
Family friend

Angela Varela
Sheen Foundation volunteer, Houston, Texas

Carlo Varela
Sheen Foundation volunteer, Houston, Texas

Dr. Louis & Alicia Varela
Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, Houston, Texas

Dr. Barry & Lynn Watson
Armonk, N.Y., personal encounter

Father Jack Whitley, CSB

Monica Yehle, Editor
Mission Magazine

Credits

THE FILM — CREDITS

This film would not have been possible without the support and generosity of so many. Thank you to the Catholic Diocese of Peoria for its vision and commitment, and to countless others who made financial gifts, shared their stories and donated their time to this project.

CREDITS
Executive Producer
Msgr. Stanley Deptula
The Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation

Writer, Director & Producer
Jason Salyers Converse Marketing, Inc.

Production Co-Producer
Amy Schlicksup
Converse Marketing, Inc.

Production Assistance
Robert Dolan
Dolan Productions

Camera Operators
Rick Kallien
Gary Wernette

Post-Production Management
The Arbor Group

Post Production
New World Post Productions

Audio Editing
Avatar Studios

Host/Voice Talent
Don Capone

Research Assistance
Jane Converse
Becky Krohe
Kerri Johnson
Jane Peverly
Allison West
Sara (Worrell) Woiwode

SHOOTING LOCATIONS
St. Mary's Cathedral
Peoria, IL

Bishop's Residence
Peoria, IL

Home of Dr. & Mrs. Louis Varela
Houston, TX

PixelBox Studios
Milwaukee, WI

Home of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Reeves
Franksville, WI

Archbishop's Residence
New York, NY

 

St. Patrick's Cathedral
New York, NY

Old St. Patrick's Cathedral
New York, NY

Society for the Propagation of the Faith
New York, NY

Home of Mr. Larry Hickey
New York, NY

Home of Dr. Yolanda Holliger
Wayne, NJ

Watch the Trailer

The Sheen Foundation is a non-profit organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
Tax I.D. 37-1411870

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