Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s remains have been transferred from the Archdiocese of New York to Peoria, Illinois, after three years of litigation, clearing the way for the former archbishop’s sainthood cause to go forward.
Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria announced today that Sheen’s remains had been transferred from St. Patrick Cathedral, New York, to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria.
“Church law requires that the transfer of the remains of one considered for beatification must…be done without any solemnity,” a June 27 release from the diocese explained.
“As a result, the transfer could not be publicized in advance. Also, no liturgical ceremony or public gathering could be held during the transfer. Therefore, the transfer of the remains was done without prior public notice.”
According to the diocese, Joan Sheen Cunningham—Venerable Sheen’s niece and closest living relative— and Patricia Gibson, chancellor and attorney for the Diocese of Peoria, along with funeral home and cemetery personnel, gathered early in the morning June 27 at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York, where Sheen’s remains were taken out of the cathedral to LaGuardia airport and flown to Chicago O’Hare.
The diocese also announced that Sheen’s Cause for Beatification, the next step on the road to sainthood, had resumed.
“Bishop Jenky has notified the Vatican indicating that civil litigation has ended and that Sheen’s remains have been transferred. The Vatican has confirmed that the Cause for Beatification has now resumed,” the release continues.
The next step will be for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints in Rome to present the alleged miracle attributed to Sheen’s intercession— the miraculous healing of an infant declared to be stillborn— to Pope Francis for his decree authenticating it.
Sheen’s remains will be encased into a marble monument inside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, located at the side altar dedicated to the Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help— on whose feast day, June 27, the archbishop’s disinterment took place.
Venerable Sheen was born in 1895 in Illinois and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria at the age of 24. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York in 1951, and he remained there until his appointment as Bishop of Rochester in 1966.
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