Welcome back, Fr. Mike

Print More

Saint Sabina.jpeg
As Saint Sabina’s awaits the return of its pastor Sunday, Chicago Sun Times religion columnist Cathleen Falsani (on a brief leave to finish up a book on religion and the Coen bros.) has written a brief profile of Chicago’s most notorious priest. The mot du jour for the likes of Michael Pfleger (and Jeremiah Wright) is “incendiary.” What’s abundantly clear, however, is that in addition to setting fires they also have built remarkable religious institutions–in Pfleger’s case (according to Falsani) “one of the most vibrant parishes in the Chicago archdiocese.” What I’d like to see from those who loathe characters like Pfleger and Wright (hey, Donohue!) is some small effort to wrestle with the institution-building side of their ministries. The inner-city prophet-priest is not the rarest of birds. And it’s no wonder that a cautious character like the cardinal archbishop of Chicago is sufficiently appreciative of the priestly side to let Fr. Mike return after only a brief forced retreat.