A Moment with Father Michael Pfleger
St. Sabina Church has had a fearless leader who has championed the cause of not only saving but transforming the lives of youth in communities in and around his magnificent institution. This beautiful church has so much storied and historical value to its very present sitting tall and strong on south Racine in Chicago.
Father Michael Pfleger has been the man behind the wooden doors who has kept this sanctuary alive and vibrant for over 40 decades; entertaining kings, queens, mayors, governors, ministers, educators, future presidents, super-star athletes and film and television icons. One of his signature programs presented each year during the celebration of negro history, is his Speaker Series, in which he invite his congregation and others into the sanctuary to see and listen to world renowned personalities give their unabashed insight into America and the communities-at-large.
TBTNews: What makes the Speaker Series such a must attend event each year?
Father Mike: We try to bring speakers that are progressive voices for Justice and who many people might not be able to hear in person….We hold it IN THE COMMUNITY and FREE to expose and educate.
TBTNews: Who are you profiling and presenting this year?
Father Mike: Harry Belafonte a consistent prophetic voice of the Movement. And Van Jones, a young voice on CNN who is shaping the next generation of leaders. Also we have Dr. Cornel West back with us on Sunday Feb. 19th.
TBTNews: Who have you showcased in the past, name a few please?
Father Mike: We've presented Winnie Mandela, Minister Farrakhan, Danny Glover, Jim Brown, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Spike lee, Andy Young, Angela Bassett, Ossie Davis and many more.
TBTNews: Why are we in such trying times in America and in our communities?
Father Mike: Many reasons…but I think we have lost not only our moral conscience, but our willingness to sacrifice for the common good.
TBTNews: You celebrated a milestone at St. Sabina last year, how exciting was that, and what's left to accomplish, as a priest and as a community activist?
Father Mike: We made it thru a 100 years of some early families that sacrificed, we struggled thru racial tensions; redlining, abandoned communities and the rise in drugs, poverty, violence, poor schools….and a pastor who was constantly threatened to be removed and suspended twice by the Archdiocese. We have sought to continue to stand with and for our community.
We now operate an Academy with 245 students, an Employment Resource Center, an Ark Youth Center, a Senior Building, a Social Service Center, a Tech Center, a Low income Samaritan Apt Building and one of the strongest outreaches to Brothers on the Street in the City. Our Goal is to continue to Fight for equality and Justice for our Community and bring or force back the Economic Development that it deserves.