Three Letters Written by Bishop Fulton Sheen to the Actress, Patricia Morison, Recovered from Her Estate
Patricia Morison (born March 19, 1915) is a retired American stage and film actress and singer. She made her feature film debut in 1939 after several years on the stage. She was lauded as a beauty with large eyes and extremely long, dark hair. During this period of her career, she was often cast as the femme fatale or “other woman”. It was only when she returned to the Broadway stage that she achieved her greatest success as the lead in the original production of Cole Porter‘s Kiss Me, Kate. She lives in Los Angeles, California, where she celebrated her 100th birthday on March 19, 2015.
The three letters are written by the Bishop to Patricia Morison, who had recently become a convert and attributed her faith to his help. The first letter, dated June 16, 1952, is his acknowledgment of a gift she sent him for which he tells her he is very grateful. It is a beautiful expression of his gratitude to her and is able to be read here. All the letters are on letterhead paper, depicting his coat of arms as a Bishop.
The second letter, dated June 17, 1952, continues his sentiments from the letter of the previous day. It is especially rare in that it was hand written and included the envelope in which it was sent, attesting to the importance with which it was preserved by Pat Morison in her estate. The letter clearly reveals the JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph) initials at the top–which was a common practice among Catholics in the 1950s.
The third letter, dated April 28, 1953, seems to be an acknowledgement of flowers sent to the Bishop by Pat Morison upon his return home to New York. His thank you note letter was sent to her in Hollywood, California, while the others were an address, the Hotel Savoy Plaza, in New York.
The Translation of Archbishop Sheen’s Coat of Arms:
Da per matrem me venire ( Grant that I may come [to You] through the mother (Mary)
Note: The correct spelling of Patricia Morison’s last name is with one, not two, “r’s”. The Bishop corrects this mistake on the last letter written to her.
These letters are an incredible addition to this Collection and a phenomenal acquisition considering Patricia Morison is still alive at close to 102 years old.
Since it is fully expected that Archbishop Sheen will some day be canonized, it adds even greater significance to acquiring these letters.