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December 9


Saint of the day:

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Motto: Da per matrem me venire (English: Grant that I may come [to You] through the mother [Mary])


Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Biography of 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, 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." 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. Headshot of Fulton SheenIn 1920, he came to The Catholic University of America to continue his studies. He stayed only a year before leaving to pursue advanced study in philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Five years later, he returned to The Catholic University of America to teach. For the next 23 years, Catholic University was where Father Sheen honed his skills as a scholar, educator, orator and evangelist. He worked, first in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, then in the School of Philosophy, teaching courses that touched on both of those disciplines, including "Philosophy of Religion," "God and Society," and "God and Modern Philosophy." Students - and untold numbers of visitors - crowded into Room 112 McMahon Hall to hear his lectures. Father Sheen's talents as a preacher did not go unnoticed even in his early years. In January of 1927, at age 30 and still in his first year of teaching atCatholic University, he was selected to preach at the annual University Mass on the patronal feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. A decade later, it was Monsignor Sheen, not a high-ranking administrator, who was the principal speaker at the University's Sesquicentennial Celebration. (He had been made a monsignor by Pope Pius XI in 1934 at the age of 39.) Steadily the reputation of the youngCatholic University professor grew, first on campus, then in wider circles as his brilliant oratory attracted more attention from the media. Father Sheen's first experience in broadcasting was in 1926 when he was invited to record a series of Sunday evening Lenten sermons on a New York radio station. Four years later, the young priest was asked to be a summer fill-in for two weeks on The Catholic Hour radio program. The audience response was so positive that he was asked to continue as a weekly speaker on the show. From 1930 to 1950, Father (then Monsignor) Sheen's weekly talks on The Catholic Hour presented Catholic teaching in a way that had never been done before. Drawing from the deep well of his faith and scholarship, Professor Sheen addressed topics ranging from devotion to the Blessed Mother to the dangers of Communism. Rooted in his thorough knowledge of the philosophical thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, he preached the Gospel and showed how it applies to personal moral decisions and the great social issues of the time. In response to his radio broadcasts, Monsignor Sheen received a steady stream of letters. In 1937, he wrote in a letter to University Rector Monsignor Joseph Corrigan, "During the past year letters demanding personal attention have run between 75 and 100 a day. ... This coupled with classes never given with less than six hours preparation for each lecture has left me physically exhausted. However the good to be done is such that one dare not shrink from its opportunities for apostolate." Many of those letters were invitations to speak. Monsignor Sheen traveled all over the country giving academic lectures, missions, retreats, guest homilies, commencement addresses, and speaking at meetings of various Catholic organizations. The busy professor not only kept up his full teaching schedule but also wrote numerous books. He published 34 books during his 23-year teaching career at Catholic University (and another 32 after he left the University). In addition, transcripts of his weekly radio talks were published in dozens of booklets by the show's sponsor the National Council of Catholic Men. Many of his other talks and sermons were published as pamphlets. He also was a syndicated columnist in the secular press. 1940 television broadcast Monsignor Sheen stands at the podium while the Paulist Choristers, directed by Father WIlliam J. Finn, sing during an Easter Sunday television broadcast in 1940. On Easter Sunday, March 24, 1940, Monsignor Sheen appeared on the world's first broadcast of a Catholic religious service. He spoke on "The Spiritual Symbolism of Television." The program was broadcast by W2XBS, the experimentally licensed predecessor of present-day WNBC in New York. It was sponsored by the National Council of Catholic Men in celebration of their twentieth anniversay as an organization and the tenth anniversary of their sponsorship of "The Catholic Hour" radio broadcast. By the time Monsignor Sheen left Catholic University in 1950 to become the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, he was already one of the most well known Catholics of his time. The next chapter of his mission would catapult him to unprecedented fame and influence. He was consecrated a bishop on June 11, 1951. In the Fall of that year, he began his famous television series, Life is Worth Living. It was a tremendous success, eventually reaching an estimated 30 million viewers each week, which would make it the most widely-viewed religious series in the history of television. He won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine, and became one of the most influential Catholics of the 20th century. Bishop Sheen is credited with raising many millions of dollars to support Catholic missions through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. For 16 years, he led this effort for 129 dioceses throughout the United States and influenced the lives of tens of millions of people all over the world. He also was known to have led numerous people to convert to Catholicism, from working-class New Yorkers he encountered in his daily life to celebrities who sought him out for instruction. Among those whose conversions he influenced are agnostic writer Heywood Broun, politician Clare Boothe Luce, automaker Henry Ford II, Communist writer Louis F. Budenz, theatrical designer Jo Mielziner, violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler, and actress Virginia Mayo. Between 1962 and 1965, Bishop Sheen attended all the sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He worked closely with then Father Joseph Ratzinger, who was a theological expert on the commission for mission, and who later became Pope Benedict XVI. In a 2012 interview with Vatican Radio, the Pope recalled how "Fulton Sheen ... would fascinate us in the evenings with his talks." In 1966, Sheen was named Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester. He resigned from that position in 1969. In his resignation letter, Bishop Sheen wrote, "I am not retiring, only retreading." Pope Paul VI named him Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport, Wales. Archbishop Sheen remained active, spending the last years of his life chiefly in writing and preaching. A consistent theme in Archbishop Sheen's preaching throughout his life, especially in his later years, was the benefits of making a holy hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Author Michael Dubruiel said, "There is no one in the modern church who has done more to popularize the practice of praying in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament." This was not advice that Archbishop Sheen gave without practicing it himself. Throughout his years at Catholic University, he maintained his daily holy hour, praying in Caldwell Chapel and in the private chapel in his residence. Many people who worked closely with him over the years attest that he never failed to keep his holy hour from the day of his priestly ordination until his death on the floor of his private chapel in Our Lord's presence on Dec. 9, 1979. Two months before Archbishop Sheen's death, Pope John Paul II embraced him in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. In that encounter on October 2, 1979, the Holy Father said to him, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You are a loyal son of the Church!” In 2002, Archbishop Sheen's Cause for Canonization as a saint was officially opened under the leadership of the Diocese of Peoria, and from then on he was referred to as a "Servant of God". On June 28, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had recognized Archbishop Sheen's life as one of "heroic virtue," and proclaimed him "Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen." On March 6, 2014, the board of medical experts who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints unanimously approved a reported miracle attributed to his intercession. On June 17, 2014, the seven-member theological commission that advises the congregation unanimously agreed with the medical team's finding. On Nov. 18, 2019, Pope Francis called for Sheen to be beatified on Dec. 21, 2019. However, on Dec. 3, 2019, Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky announced that the Vatican had decided to indefinitely postpone the beatification ceremony. That decision was in response to a request submitted to the Vatican by some U.S. bishops for further investigation of Sheen's tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Rochester from 1966 to 1969.


Her Amazing Story:








The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception

607 NE Madison Ave, Peoria, IL 61603




Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Here’s how to make authentic-tasting Chicago deep dish pizza. Complete with the buttery crust, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and a thick layer of cheese. This recipe makes two deep dish 9-inch pizzas. Make them both if you have a family of 4-5 or are having friends over. If your family is smaller, freeze half of the dough per the make-ahead/freezing instructions in the recipe notes.


Pizza Crust  (Makes 2)

  • 3 and 1/4 cups (406g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

  • 1/2 cup (60g) yellow cornmeal

  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar

  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) Instant yeast (1 standard packet)*

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) slightly warm water (110'F)

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, divided
    (1/4 cup melted, 1/4 cup softened to room temperature)

  • olive oil for coating

Tomato Sauce 

  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, grated (about 1/3 cup)*

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • one 28-ounce can (794g) crushed tomatoes*

  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar


  • 4 cups (about 16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese*

  • 1/2 cup (45g) grated parmesan cheese

  • optional and what I use: handful of pepperoni per pizza,
    4 slices cooked and then crumbled bacon (2 per pizza)

  • additional optional toppings: cooked and crumbled sausage,
    thinly sliced green peppers and/or onions, sliced mushrooms
    (add enough to suit your tastes)



  1. Please use my step-by-step photos below this written out recipe as a guide to making the pizza. For best results and ease of mind, read through the recipe completely before beginning. You will need two deep dish 9×2 inch round cake pans if you are making both pizzas at the same time. You can also use 9 inch springform pans.

  2. For the crust: Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use your hand mixer and a very very large bowl. If you do not have any mixer, you will do this all by hand. Again, use a very large bowl. Give those ingredients a quick toss with your mixer on low or with a large wooden spoon. Add the warm water and 1/4 cup of melted butter. The warm water should be around 90°F (32°C). Make sure it is not very, very hot or it will kill the yeast. Likewise, make sure the butter isn’t boiling hot. If you melt it in the microwave, let it sit for 5 minutes before adding. On low speed, beat (or stir) the dough ingredients until everything begins to be moistened. Continuing on low speed (or remove from the bowl and knead by hand if you do not own a mixer), beat the dough until it is soft and supple and gently pulls away from the sides of the bowl and falls off of the dough hook- about 4-5 minutes. If the dough is too hard (it will be textured from the cornmeal), but if it feels too tough, beat in 1 teaspoon of warm water. Alternatively, if it feels too soft, beat in 1 Tablespoon of flour.

  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside, turning it around so that all sides of the dough are coated in the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size.

  4. Once the dough is ready, lightly flour a large work surface. Remove dough from the bowl, set the bowl and aluminum foil aside (to use later). Gently punch down the dough to remove any air bubbles and roll the dough into a large 15×12 inch rectangle. Spread 1/4 cup of softened butter on top of the dough. Roll it up lengthwise per the photos below. Cut the dough log in half. Form the two pieces of dough into balls and place back into your greased bowl. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rise in the refrigerator (not in a warm place) for 1 hour until they are puffy as you make the sauce.

  5. For the sauce: Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and allow it to melt. Once melted, add the grated onion, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Once the onion has slightly browned after about 5 minutes, add the garlic, tomatoes, and sugar. Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow it to simmer until it’s hearty, fragrant, and thick- about 30 minutes. You’ll have about 2 and 1/2 cups of sauce at this point. If you have more than that, keep simmering until the amount has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to be used. You may store the sauce in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days if planning to make the pizza another day. You may freeze this sauce for up to 2 months as well.

  6. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).

  7. Assemble the pizzas: After the dough balls have risen in the refrigerator, they should be puffy. Keep one ball of dough in the refrigerator as you work with the first one. Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface, working it into a 12-inch circle. Using your rolling pin as a guide (see photos below), place over a 9×2 inch deep dish cake pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into the cake pan. Make sure it is nice and tight fitting inside the pan. Trim any excess dough off the edges with a small knife. Repeat with 2nd dough. Brush the top edges of the dough with a little olive oil, which gives the crust a beautiful sheen. Fill each pizza with 1/2 of the cheese (about 2 cups/8 oz per pizza), then your toppings which I’ve listed as optional in the recipe ingredients. On top of those optional toppings is the sauce. Pour about 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) of sauce on top of each. If you do not like that much sauce, you can reduce to 3/4 cup (180ml) per pizza and have leftover sauce. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup (22g) of grated parmesan cheese.

  8. Place the cake pans on top of a large baking sheet, which will catch anything potentially spilling over the sides of the pans. (Nothing usually does.) Bake for 20-28 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Feel free to loosely cover the pizzas with aluminum foil after the 15 minute mark to prevent any heavy browning and uneven baking. Remove the pizzas from the oven and allow to cool in the pans placed on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, slice, serve, and enjoy. Place any leftover pizza in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.  Reheat leftovers in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Dough may be prepared through step 4. In the last part of this step, the dough needs to rise in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You may leave it in the refrigerator for up to 1 full day, making sure to punch it down to remove any air bubbles before rolling out as directed in step 7. You may freeze the pizza doughs after preparing them through step 4, and instead of allowing to rise in the refrigerator, simply freeze for up to 2 months. Then, allow the doughs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing with step 7. Make-ahead and freezing instructions for the sauce are written in step 5.

  2. Yeast: Platinum Yeast from Red Star is an instant yeast. You can use any quick rise or instant yeast in this recipe. You can also use active dry yeast in this recipe with zero changes. The rise time may be slightly longer if using active dry yeast.

  3. Onion & Tomatoes: Please see notes below the recipe in the step-by-step photos for details about the grated onion and the can of crushed tomatoes.

  4. Cheese: You can use sliced mozzarella or shredded mozzarella cheese.

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