Those of you who have been paying close attention to this blog and a little bit of buzz around the internet know that CESJ is planning on republishing a “long lost” book by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, considered by many to be the first “televangelist.” In what no doubt surprises many, Sheen was also a strong advocate of widespread capital ownership — and therein lies a tale.
In 1950, Sheen was appointed National Director of the “Society for the Propagation of the Faith” in the United States, an organization founded in the early 19th century in France by Pauline Jaricot. Among Jaricot’s many, many projects was an initiative to set up a worker-owned factory. Unfortunately, the individual she trusted to run the project proved to be a thief and a liar, and absconded with the financing. As we recall, this may have forced her into bankruptcy, and she applied for relief from another institution she founded . . . and was denied help on the grounds that she was lying about having founded the institution!
That’s all we know. It does, however, suggest that great minds run in the same channels. Both Jaricot and Sheen saw widespread ownership of capital as important, and a critical feature of a just society — and both struggled against people convinced that they were either frauds or undermining the mission or teachings of the Catholic Church. (They have the “last laugh,” however: the Catholic Church honors both Sheen and Jaricot as “venerable,” two steps away from “canonization,” or recognition as saints, while their critics have either been forgotten, or shown up themselves as somewhat lacking.)
That’s one reason why we’re placing such emphasis on CESJ’s “Fulton Sheen Project”:
• The republication of Freedom Under God (1940), the “long lost” book by Fulton J. Sheen, remains on schedule for Labor Day. The book features a new foreword, annotation, a bibliography, and an index lacking in the first edition. It also has a terrific cover. The book will retail for $20.00. It will be available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as by special order from other bookstores. Bulk/wholesale orders (i.e., ten or more copies of a single title) will be available for shipment within the North American continent from the publisher, the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), at a 20% discount off the cover price, plus shipping. Send an e-mail for a price quote on the shipping to a specific street address (no P.O. Boxes) to “publications [at] cesj [dot] org. Please forgive the shouting, but CESJ DOES NOT SELL RETAIL. It’s a state sales tax thing. Plus, CESJ is all-volunteer (i.e., no paid staff), and filling individual orders instead of drop-shipping bulk/wholesale orders would make it virtually impossible to run the organization or do anything else.
• Just in case you missed it in the above item, CESJ does NOT sell anything retail. Please do not place orders for individual publications with CESJ; bulk/wholesale orders ONLY.
• CESJ is considering retiring the “National Field Secretary” designation in favor of “Project Manager,” especially in light of the advances made by Guy Stevenson in running the Fulton Sheen Project. The duties of a Project Manager would be more clearly defined than those of a National Field Secretary as they would be tied directly to a specific project, and the title would not apply once a project was completed.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 74 different countries and 47 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and India. The most popular postings this past week were “Shakespeare Speaks! (Again),” “If You Have a Free Moment,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “News from the Network, Vol. 6, No. 30,” and “Aristotle on Private Property.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we’ll see that it gets into the next “issue.” If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we’ll see it before it goes up.