El Paso, Illinois: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Spiritual Centre
Fulton J. Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1895 and went on to become an influential voice for Catholics, especially his long-running TV show, “Life is Worth Living” from 1951 to 1957, which actually became #1 nationally in his time slot….even beating out Milton Berle. He went on to host another show, “The Fulton Sheen Program” from 1961 to1968.
History of the Centre:
Dennis Schreck and his business partner, Bill Procknow, acquired the old train depot in 1995. Although they did not have a specific purpose in mind at the time, they were and confident that one would be found for it. When Karen Fulte, board member of the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation, approached Dennis about the possibility of placing a Bishop Sheen museum in the depot, Dennis immediately said, “Yes!”
Although he had never thought his depot might someday include a Sheen museum, his mind was open to whatever the Holy Spirit might introduce to him.
In October 2000 the first Sheen exhibit opened in the Reading Corner of the Historic El Paso Depot. However, the exhibit soon outgrew its space and in July 2001 the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Communication Room opened in a larger room of its own in the Depot.
Exhibits at the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Centre:
The room here at the centre has copies of the many magazines that covered him during his lifetime, as well as audio and video tapes available for listening and viewing.
The furniture in the room is similar to that used during his lifetime, including an old radio, typewriter and camera lights that were used back in the 50’s and 60’s. You find pictures on the walls of
Notable here is the Emmy he won in 1953 for his TV show, and on the walls hang pictures of people closely connected with him such as Robert Schuller, FDR, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason and Martin Sheen (who took his stage name from Sheen). The furniture in the room is reminiscent of that used during Sheen’s lifetime. An old radio, typewriter, and camera light adds to the nuance.
Traveling to the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Centre: