When a popular TV star stands on the verge of sainthood, it should encourage all of us who work in media to take our jobs more seriously. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who died in 1979, hosted the most popular religious program ever broadcast in network prime time. “Life is Worth Living” featured Sheen addressing a live audience without script or notes, and from 1951 to 1957 the show competed directly, and surprisingly successfully, against entertainment giants like Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra.
When Bishop Sheen won his first of two Emmies, he thanked “my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” Because of well-documented, miraculous cures associated with prayers to Bishop Sheen’s memory, the Vatican last month declared him a “Venerable Servant of God”--the final step before sainthood. Such recognition should inspire a TV industry not known today for saintly content.