Assembly 2018, San Diego | June 10-12

Martin Sheen

Award-Winning Actor, Social Activist and Humanitarian 
Sheen_Martin_300x300Endeared to audiences nation-wide for his seven-year run as President Bartlet on NBC's award-winning series The West Wing, Martin Sheen uses his dynamic presence and celebrity status to lend an inspired voice to peace and social justice issues such as nuclear weapons, the treatment of immigrants, the alleviation of poverty and homelessness, and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars where he gives a voice to those he feels need it most. Sheen is Special Envoy to Front Line International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. A fervent promoter of the principles of Catholic social thought in word and in action, Sheen's passion for activism and its necessary place in today's political, humanitarian and social arenas has inspired generations. For over four decades, he has been an ardent supporter of causes that advocate peace and encourage justice throughout the world.

Born Ramon Estevez to immigrant parents, Sheen left his Dayton, Ohio home for the bright lights of NYC, apprenticing at Judith Malina and Julian Beck's Living Theater. He grabbed attention in Frank Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses (1964) with a Tony-nominated turn as a returning war veteran opposite Jack Albertson, later reprising his role in the 1968 film version. Sheen's feature debut came as a delinquent terrorizing the occupants of a subway car in The Incident (1967), but his real breakthrough came as the alienated, amoral yet charismatic killer on the run with Sissy Spacek in Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973).

In the 70's Sheen embarked on a series of critically-acclaimed projects for the small screen, earning an Emmy nomination for his sensitive portrayal of the deserter in The Execution of Private Slovik. Also, that same year was the powerful The Missiles of October which saw him slip into the skin of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, his first of many fictional forays into political life. Sheen's turn as the military assassin sent to terminate the command of a crazed Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now that remains one of his signature roles.

Despite the time devoted to social justice, his amazing output of film and TV roles has never slowed. He donated his salary for his work on Gandhi (1982) to various charities and he portrayed a union official father at odds with the insider trading world of his financier son (Charlie) in Oliver Stone's absorbing Wall Street (1987). He executive produced and starred in two features, playing Barnard Hughes' son in DA and a trial judge in Leo Penn's Judgment in Berlin, and he also executive produced and starred in the TNT movie Nightbreaker (1989), in which son Emilio essayed his character at an earlier stage.

Sheen has been a prolific actor since the late 1960's. He has played over 100 roles, including such films as Badlands, Catch Me If You Can, The Departed, Bobby and The Way a film written and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez. Their published father/son memoir Along the Way was released in May 2012.

Sheen and his wife Janet have been married for 50 years and they have four children: Emilio, Ramon, Renee and Charlie.
Initiated in 2014, this annual lecture is presented in honor of Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, who worked throughout his life to bring about healing for all people, especially the most vulnerable. The retired auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., died in June of 2013.

During his long career in ministry, Bishop Sullivan led Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, and from the early days of the AIDS epidemic, he continued to call for better care and services for persons living with HIV and AIDS. His concern for suffering people across the globe was evident in his ten years of service with Catholic Medical Mission Board. He was passionately committed to access to quality health care for all people. 

Bishop Sullivan served on the Board of Trustees of CHA beginning in 1984, and he chaired the board in 1990-1991. From 2000 to 2008, he was episcopal liaison to CHA from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At the time of his death, Bishop Sullivan was a member of the board of Mercy health system (Chesterfield, Mo.), which he chaired from 2004 to 2007.

With warmth, wit and expansive knowledge, this man of deep faith was a lifelong champion for his sisters and brothers in need.