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Father Michael Pfleger

Activist & Senior Pastor, St. Sabina Catholic Church
Rev. Michael Louis Pfleger was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1975 and in 1981, at the age of 31, became the youngest full pastor in the diocese when he was appointed Pastor of Saint Sabina Church. Since 1968, Father Pfleger has lived and ministered in the African-American community on both the west and south sides of Chicago. He spent two summers working in a Native American community in Oklahoma, and did his seminary internship as a Chaplin at Cook County Jail and at Precious Blood Catholic Church, both in Chicago.As the foster father of a child killed in gang crossfire, Father Pfleger is known for his commitment to equality and passionate stance against injustice through his extensive and active ministry, which has often led him to out-of-the-box solutions and initiatives. He was spoken out against alcohol and tobacco billboards that target children, violence toward women on The Jerry Springer Show, and music that glorifies violence and degrades women. He developed a team of St. Sabina church members to pay prostitutes for their time while giving them information about improving the quality of their lives, and he has offered (and paid out) “bounties” for information about the killers of children. Crain’s Chicago Business has named Father Pfleger one of the best and entertaining preachers in Chicagoland. His work has been featured in more than a dozen media outlets including the New Yorker, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Magazine, Time, People, Ebony and Newsweek and on ABC News, CBS News, the BBC, CNN, 60 Minutes and Nightline.During the course of his career, Father Pleger founded many charitable organizations including the Employment Resource Center, Ark Youth Center, Samaritan House for the Homeless and Saint Sabina Elders Village. He has been inducted into the the Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers and the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. He was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Office of Racial Justice of the Archdiocese of Chicago. At the request of Coretta Scott King, Father Pfleger was the keynote speaker for the national Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service in 2003, and at the request of the King Family, was one of the speakers to eulogize Scott King at her memorial service in 2006.
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