One could say that the star of television’s Emmy-winning, West Wing does
not actually exist outside of Hollywood. The movie star that we think we know as Martin Sheen, carries a driver’s license
in the name of Ramon Estevez. The stage name is but a single facet of a very real and complex man of God.
Is it the celebrity, Martin Sheen who attends parish council meetings, delivers food to poor families during
Thanksgiving, visits the Venice Clinic and washes dishes at the Catholic Worker or is it a committed Catholic Christian named
“A man should do good deeds, but you shouldn’t hear about it ’til later,” Martin says.
“Nobody should really know what you’ve done. Or, as Jesus says, ‘Your right hand shouldn’t know what
the left hand is doing.’
The seventh child of devout Catholic parents, actor Martin Sheen privately lives the faith that he publicly
professes. He believes in putting his Christianity to work and says, “Don't wait for God on a cloud while your neighbor
is starving to death."Martin Sheen has very clearly defined beliefs, some of which are politically correct
and some of which are not. Mr. Sheen has been arrested more than 60 times taking a public stand for something he believes
in or standing against some social injustice.
“Non-violent demonstration is one of the only tools that is available to us where you can express a
deeply personal, deeply moral opinion and be held accountable. You have to be prepared for the consequences. I honestly do
not know if civil disobedience has any effect on the government. I can promise you it has a great effect on the person who
chooses to do it.”
“We (are) the most confused, warped, addicted society in the history of the world. We are addicted to
power, we're addicted to our own image of ourselves, to violence, divorce, abortion, and sex.”
“As a father and a grandfather, I have had experience with children who don't always come when they
are planned, and I have experienced the great joy of God's presence in my children, so I'm inclined to be against abortion
of any life. But I am equally against the death penalty or war-- anywhere people are sacrificed for some end justifying a
"I take the Gospel seriously. We have to find God's presence, first of all, in our own brokenness. We have
to find it in service. We grow by serving."
Martin Sheen calls himself a radical Catholic. "You know, the essence of the Gospel of Jesus was extremely
radical, and that's why they killed Him."
I don't limit the sacramentalness of life to church. It is in community and brokenness. Sacramentalness of life, sacredness
of life, you have to stand against darkness. The church is not always there."
“I have not always practiced my Catholicism. I left it as a youth and I lived for many years without
faith.” Martin says that during filming of Apocalypse Now, …”I fell gravely ill and was
at death's door. I had a crisis of conscience at the same time. I was divided inside: I had no spirituality, I had no idea
how to combine the will of the spirit with the work of the flesh.”
Martin Sheen began his journey back to God out of fear and it has matured into joy.
“When I returned to the Church, I had been away for 15 years, perhaps more. I was a man without needs;
I had no love, no respect. So, for me, the moment I was born to the faith ... I knew it, I knew it ... I thought: "I am home,
I am home. I am free."
“As the Mass begins and the crucifix in the central nave comes close, I think: "I know this man, He
is also my Redeemer, He also belongs to me."
“The greatest miracle is that we too are made sons and daughters of God.”
In an industry where celebrities trade in their spouses almost annually for a new model, Martin
boasts that he has been married to his “trophy wife,” Janet for over 40 years.
Throughout the motion picture industry, Martin Sheen’s integrity as an actor is never in question. The
ISECFT would like to recognize his integrity as a radical follower of Jesus Christ who routinely stands against the darkness.