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Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen Paperback – March 1, 1982

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Editorial Reviews



“Sheen...wrote of his sixty-year priesthood, from curate to bishop, with the same ability to simultaneously entertain and elucidate that made him a media star.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Fulton Sheen (1895 – 1979) was one of the most prominent Catholic leaders in American history. He was bishop of Rochester, national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, a participant in the Second Vatican council, and television’s first religious broadcaster. He is author of numerous books, including Life of Christ, and his cause for canonization is currently under consideration.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Image; Unabridged edition (March 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385177097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385177092
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) was one of the best-loved prelates of twentieth century Catholicism. A prolific writer and orator, a distinguished scholar and teacher, an influential master of the media, Bishop Sheen was one of the most effective communicators of our time. His scores of books have offered inspiration, profound thought, and penetrating analysis of Christian faith and life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Cary A. Cusumano on April 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Many people who were alive in the '50s and '60s are familiar with wit and wisdom of Archbishop Fulton Sheen from his television show, "Life is Worth Living." Sadly, I never saw or heard the man while he was alive, but I have been fortunate enough to hear tapes of many of his conferences. I bought Treasure in Clay because I wanted to know more about the man, Fulton Sheen. What comes through in his television shows and tapes is but a small fraction of the remarkable works this man accomplished in his life. Treasure in Clay is a wonderfully inspiring book that I believe shows how one man's example of living life to the fullest can be achieved by all of us. Sheen discusses his childhood, his early priesthood, his university studies, and his life as a priest. He shares conversion stories, travel stories, humor, and wisdom that is just as applicable today as it was when he shared it with us decades ago. Not only will you gain a greater appreciation for what Archbishop Sheen accomplished in his life (and wonder how he found the time to do it all!), you will also read valuable lessons that you can apply to better your own.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Without question, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was the greatest priest-apologist of the twentieth century. Others might reasonably argue for Msgr. Ronald Knox to hold that crown, but I still give that title to Sheen. Knox was a modern Renaissance man, and wrote extensively and with great eloquence, but Sheen is the embodiment of the scriptural adage that "faith comes by hearing." He wrote just as extensively on matters of faith as Msgr. Knox, but he reached more souls because he opened electronic media to the gospel message. Not just Catholics, but also Protestants and even Jews tuned in to watch and listen to the world's first televangelist -- a Catholic priest!
This is the book to read to begin to know Fulton Sheen, the man. From his childhood in the rural Midwest, to his European university days, to a priesthood that spanned sixty years, this book covers a life truly worth living. Sheen recounts his forays into radio and television, relates stories of taking the gospel to all men -- from the famous to the obscure (and always saying that he never counted how many conversions "he made," for fear he would begin to believe that he had made them), gives personal glimpses into his private spiritual life (anyone devoted to Sheen should read his chapter on the Holy Hours he made), and even tickles his reader's funny bone (loved the story of the telegram he sent a Jewish friend).
Not long before he died, John Cardinal O'Connor of New York City opened a provisional cause to investigate the possibility of Archbishop Sheen's canonization. If he, by God's providence, is one day canonized, I look forward to the possibility that maybe one day, God willing, this twentieth century priest-apologist might be recognized as a Doctor of the Church. Fulton Sheen, pray for us!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Defreitas on April 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a charming book. If you've read other books by Archbishop Sheen, or remember his television lectures, then you must read "Treasure in Clay." And you needn't read the chapters in the order they were written. Depending on your mood, you might want to read "The Lighter Side," or the chapter about Our Lady, or "The Hour that Makes My Day" -- about his unwavering devotion to Eucharistic adoration. You might want to read about the Second Vatican Council, and the ebullient camaraderie that characterized the sessions (evidenced by some of the bishops playfully exchanging sacred limericks). You can read about Communism -- Sheen's chapter on this subject is a needed corrective to the historical lassitude that fails to convey the menace of this abominable ideology.

There are anecdotes about FDR and about Humphrey Bogart. There are stories of conversions which Sheen helped bring to fruition; there is the note that the octogenarian archbishop received from a boy of fi!ve or six: "I hop you have a happy Birthday, and I hop you will be Pop."

"Treasure in Clay" gives us laughter and devotion, humor and courage, poetry and the Cross, and a fine tribute to John Paul II, newly elected as this book was being written. There is much to treasure in "Treasure in Clay."
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G Pizza VINE VOICE on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen greeted Pope John Paul II on his first visit to New York as Pope in October 1979. "You've written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus," said the still-new pontiff as the men embraced. "You're a loyal son of the church."

A torch was passed that day. Both educated, articulate men tactically understood and despised Communism almost as deeply as they adored Christ, His Mother, the Church He founded and they served. Above all, each followed Cardinal Mercier's wise words to Sheen as his ministry started: "Keep current, understand what the modern world is thinking about;...then plunge deeply into ...the wisdom of the ancients and you will be able to refute its errors."

"Treasures in Clay," Sheen's rich autobiography finished less than a month before his death, reveals his legacy as a faith-filled instructor. He taught religion and philosophy at two of the world's finest universities (Louvain in Belgium and Catholic U. in Washington). He served as head of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and became a best-selling author, columnist, worldwide radio and television celebrity in those mediums' first decade. He then emptied his attained money and celebrity into promoting the Gospel and Roman Catholic faith, accepting an Emmy while thanking his writers: "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John."

Anyone reading or watching Bishop Sheen's best-selling book and TV series, "Life is Worth Living," will know and appreciate his narrative tone. He chronicles his path from professor to one of Catholicism's beloved public figures, by placing philosophical discourse beside self-effacing anecdotes beside personal, inspirational devotion. He describes attempts worldwide to convert crowds from Army bases to prisons.
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