Spiritual Leaders:

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Born Peter John Sheen on May 8, 1895, to farmer Newt Sheen and his wife, Delia, in El Paso, Illinois, the future Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen came under the influence of one of the founders of The Catholic University of America at an early age.

While serving Mass as an 8-year-old altar boy for Bishop John L. Spalding of Peoria, Bishop Sheen dropped a wine cruet on the floor and it shattered. After the Mass, Bishop Spalding spoke to the frightened boy and made two bold predictions about him. First, the bishop said he would one-day study at Louvain in Belgium; second, he told the young Sheen, “someday you will be just as I am.”

Bishop Sheen went to high school at Spalding Institute, then studied at St. Viator College in Illinois, and attended Saint Paul Seminary in Minnesota before his ordination to the priesthood on September 20, 1919.

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