- Notes and Comments
Dr. Kathleen Holscher, ACHA President (2019), has announced the results from the 2019 elections for ACHA officers in 2020. Dr. Brenna Moore of Fordham University was elected 2020 Vice President and 2021 President. Elected to terms on the Executive Council for the years 2020-22 were Drs. Kyle Roberts of the American Philosophical Society and Catherine O’Donnell of Arizona State University; the Graduate Student Representative to the Executive Council for that period will be Elisabeth Davis of the University of Buffalo. The ACHA prize committees announced their 2019 winners: Dr. Ellen Skerrett, an independent scholar, for the Distinguished Scholar Award; Dr. James O’Toole of Boston College for the Distinguished Teaching Award; and The Archival Center of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the Distinguished Service Award. The Koenig Prize for Biography went to the Reverend Richard Gribble, CSC, for his article “The Press at Vatican II: The Contribution of Father Edward Heston, CSC,” that appeared in American Catholic Studies 128.1 (Spring 2017), 17–50. The John Gilmary Shea Prize was given to Karen Vélez for her book The Miraculous Flying House of Loreto: Spreading Catholicism in the Early Modern World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019). The Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize for a book on Italian or Italo-American history went to Pamela O. Long for her study Engineering the Eternal City: Infrastructure, Topography, and Culture of Knowledge in Late Sixteenth-Century Rome (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2018). In 2019 no one qualified to win the Peter Guilday Prize.
Causes of Saints
On December 21, 2019 in the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois, the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1895–1979) was scheduled to be declared a Blessed in a ceremony conducted by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints. On the request of some American bishops the Vatican has decided to delay the ceremony. The mortal remains of Archbishop Sheen were re-interred in a marble tomb near the main altar of the cathedral following a prolonged legal contest with the Archdiocese of New York and the revised wishes of his closet relative Joan Sheen Cunningham. The miracle that indicated his sanctity was the recovery in September of 2010 of the still-born infant James Fulton Engstrom, after medical professionals had given up hope, but his parents prayed to the archbishop to intercede for his recovery. A team of medical experts unanimously approved the miracle and the congregation’s seven-member theological commission unanimously agreed with their [End Page 768] findings. On July 6, 2019, Pope Francis formally approved the miracle. The cause for Sheen’s canonization was begun in 2002 and Pope Benedict XVI named him “Venerable” in 2012 after an investigation into his heroic virtue.
Fulton Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois, baptized Peter, taking the name John at confirmation, and later adopting his mother’s maiden name of Fulton. The family moved to Peoria where he received his education, obtaining the bachelor’s degree from St. Viator’s College in Bourbonnais, Illinois, in 1917. After training at St. Paul’s Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was ordained a priest in 1919. He was sent on for further studies at the Catholic University of America (1919–20) and at the University of Louvain (1920–25), where he won the prestigious Agrégé en philosophie award for his doctoral dissertation. From the Angelicum in Rome he received the S.T.D. degree. He joined the faculty of the Catholic University of America in 1926 where he taught philosophy and theology until his appointment in 1950 as American director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith headquartered in New York. He was made titular bishop of Cesariana in Numidia (1951–66), serving as an auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Francis Spell-man, a member of Vatican II’s Preparatory Commission on the Lay Apostolate, residential bishop of Rochester, New York (1966–69), and titular archbishop of Newport in Wales (1969–79). His dynamic presentations on the ‘The Catholic Hour” and “Life is Worth Living” series on television beginning...