In a strange legal battle, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s body has been in New York. The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, where he was originally ordained has been fighting to have his body returned. He was born in El Paso, Illinois.
The Peoria Diocese has spearheaded a campaign for sainthood for Sheen, who became renowned as television’s first televangelist. In fact his Saturday night show in the 50’s at one time aired opposite Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra…..and he bested them both!
In the sainthood process, a custom of the canonization comes into play: the remains of a saint get buried at the site of where the sainthood petition began — in this case, Peoria. Sheen’s remains would be interred in a marble crypt to be built near the altar at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, where hewas ordained as a priest.
Sheen, who died at age 84 in 1979, is buried in the crypt under the sanctuary at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.