Venerable Fulton Sheen a Step Closer to Sainthood with Approval of Reported Miracle

Bonnie and James Fulton Engstrom

Bonnie and James Fulton Engstrom

Big news today out of the Diocese of Peoria: the 7-member board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints at the Vatican unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Definitely take a moment to read the full press release.

I have to share that this news today has me alternating between tears of joy and happy dancing. I have had a strong personal devotion to Venerable Fulton and regularly pray through his intercession for the work I do. He was a master of Catholic communications long before many of us were even born, using the latest technology of his time to share his passion for the Gospel. For those of us who devote ourself to the New Evangelization, he is a mentor, a role model and an intercessor.

Today’s news brought me back to the joyous opportunity I had to attend the Mass of Thanksgiving in the Diocese of Peoria in 2012 when Sheen was made Venerable Servant of God. On that day, I made a new friend, Bonnie Engstrom. Bonnie is the beautiful blogger behind A Knotted Life. Together with her husband Travis, Bonnie is a busy parent to five precious souls. Included among the five is the child mentioned in that press release:

The case involved a still born baby born in September 2010.  For over an hour the child demonstrated no signs of life as medical professionals attempted every possible life saving procedure, while the child’s parents and loved ones began immediately to seek the intercession of Fulton Sheen.    After 61 minutes the baby was restored to full life and made a full recovery.  The child, now three years old, continues in good health.

If you were to meet Bonnie and Travis, you would never know that this miracle happened in their home. They are humble, faith-filled, and just like any other Catholic family in the pew with you. But there’s a difference: their son James Fulton is a living miracle, a sign of God’s amazing love. In typical fashion, when I reached out in exuberance to Bonnie today, she so kindly reminded me that the focus on this day should not be on their family, but truly on this amazing man — soon to hopefully be a saint — who continues to point us all towards God and his goodness.

Bonnie has posted on her blog today and rightly reminds us to continue to pray for the cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen and to support it with our contributions. Another fitting Lenten almsgiving idea might be to support the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies during the season of Lent in honor of and gratitude for their former National Director, Venerable Fulton.

I thought I would leave you with just a few photos of the day I met the Engstrom family — I think they point to both the beauty of a Catholic family just like ours and the glory of a day of Thanksgiving for the life of a saintly man.

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria

Copyright 2014 Lisa M. Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


    • Mons Soseman I am so very happy today. My prayers for the cause are redoubled, but I also think it is amazing how tremendously blessed I am by some of the friendships in my life since that September day, and I count you among those! Today must be uniquely special for you, after having spent so many long hours at work on that Positio!

  1. Pingback: Sheen Miracle Approved by Doctor Panel | The Catholic Beat

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