The Catholic University of America

July 14, 2010

A Personal Collection From a Public Priest

New Online Finding Aid Details CUA Archives’ Papers of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Courtesy of CUA Archives)

For many Catholics, Archbishop Fulton Sheen was a regular part of their lives. They listened to him on the radio or watched him on his national television show "Life Is Worth Living.”

The Catholic University alumnus was also professor of theology and philosophy at the university from 1926 to 1950. From 1966 to 1969, he was bishop of Rochester, N.Y.

Today, he is being considered for sainthood.

A new online finding aid launched this week by CUA Archives details some of the papers of this well-known Catholic leader that are housed at the university.

While a professor at CUA, Sheen donated notes he took while studying philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium that cover philosophical topics such as pragmatism, logic and metaphysics. Papers from his participation in the Second Vatican Council’s Commission on Missions were placed in the archives later.

Also included in the collection are inspirational booklets from his time as a regular speaker on the “Catholic Hour” radio program and a Braille version of his booklet “What Can I Do?”

The papers from the Commission of Missions are Sheen’s notes on a decree (Ad Gentes) issued by the commission. Archbishop Sheen was the only American on the commission.

The online finding aid was created by Mary Zito, a CUA graduate student in history, under the direction of W. John Shepherd, associate archivist.

Shepherd notes that although CUA houses just a small collection of papers from the illustrious priest, not an exhaustive collection of the work he completed in his lifetime, "This small collection is notable because it covers two key aspects of his career."

For more information about Archbishop Sheen and his collection, view the finding aid at

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