Fr. Maurice Sheehy to FDR


Father Maurice S. Sheehy was the head of The Catholic University of America's Department of Religious Education during the 1936 election. In this letter to President Roosevelt written four years after the election, he explains how he tried to counter Father Coughlin's invectives by sending pro-Roosevelt materials, including copies of Ryan's "Safeguard" speech, to fellow clergymen and to Catholic press organizations.




As you read the document, reflect on the following questions:

  • How would you describe Sheehy's attitude toward Roosevelt? Toward Coughlin?
  • According to the letter, did Roosevelt have support among American Catholics in the 1936 election? How would you verify his findings?