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Father George Clements

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Information about Father George Clements

Profile image of Father George Clements

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Activist
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Catfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Nassau, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
God will provide.

Birthplace

Born:
1/26/1932
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Social Activist
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Catfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Nassau, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
God will provide.

Birthplace

Born:
1/26/1932
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Father George Clements is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The fourth of six children, Father George Clements was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 26, 1932. After attending Catholic elementary and high schools, Clements went on to St. Mary of the Lake Seminary School, first earning a B.A. degree and then an M.A. degree in 1957.

Clements began his ministry in 1957 in the archdiocese of Chicago. He aligned himself with various social causes, especially the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968, while Chicago’s African American Catholics were calling for a black pastor, Clements was in the front running for the position. When the position of pastor was given to Father Rollins Lambert, many in the community were angry, including the Black Panthers, who Clements had served as group chaplain. When parishioners of St. Dorothy’s, Lambert’s former parish, began demanding Clements be appointed pastor, Cardinal John Cody instead placed him under Lambert. Following this, Clements went on a speaking tour at black colleges across the nation. In 1969, he was named pastor of Holy Angels Church, and while there, he harbored many Black Panthers wanted by the police.

Clements is the founder of the One Church-One Child, One Church-One Addict and One Church-One Inmate initiatives. In 1981, he became the first priest to adopt a child, and later adopted three more. His One Church-One Child program subsequently resulted in the adoption of more than 100,000 children nationwide. He has worked to help students from Africa secure higher education in the United States and has been active in the war on drugs. During the Million Man March in 1995, Clements announced plans for the One Church-One Addict program, wherein communities would provide aftercare for individuals who have been incarcerated. More than 1,000 churches in thirty-five states now belong to the program.

Father Clements has been honored by numerous organizations, including the Kentucky State Senate, which issued a resolution praising his deeds. A film starring Lou Gossett, Jr., The Father Clements Story, was produced and broadcast by NBC in 1987.

See how Father George Clements is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Clements interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Clements lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Clements remembers his mother and shares her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Clements describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Clements shares memories from his family life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Clements recalls his childhood environs, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Clements describes his family values
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Clements remembers an influential teacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Clements recalls his experience at Archbishop Quigley Prepatory Seminary, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Clements recalls a racist encounter in his early seminary years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Clements shares reflections on attending Archbishop Quigley Prepatory Seminary, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Clements describes his experience at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake's Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Clements reviews information on the priesthood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Clements shares memories of Saint Ambrose Church, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Clements remembers his ordination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Clements shares early memories from the priesthood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Clements recalls radical changes in Chicago churches, 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Clements recalls raising funds for Holy Angels Church, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Clements describes his involvement with the Blackstone Rangers gang and the Black Panther Party
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Clements recalls his thiry-two year career at the Holy Angels Church, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Clements remembers Cardinal John Cody
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Clements criticizes Chicago's Mayor Richard J. Daley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Clements shares reflections on the Black Catholic Church
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Clements details how he became an adoptive father
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - George Clements details his involvement with Chicago's Afro-American Police League
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - George Clements discusses his One Church, One Addict and One Church, One Inmate initiatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Second slating of George Clements interview
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Clements details his involvement with Chicago's Afro-American Patrolman's League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Clements remembers Renault Robinson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Clements describes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination as life-altering
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Clements remembers priests involved in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Clements describes his relationship with John Cardinal Cody
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Clements confronts racism in the Catholic Church
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Clements reflects on Catholicism and issues of race
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Clements discusses sexual abuse in the Catholic Church
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Clements details the development of the One Church, One Family initiative
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Clements shares reflections on fatherhood
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Clements discusses 'The Father Clements Story,' a made-for-television movie
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Clements recalls re-building Holy Angels Church, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - George Clements explains his advocacy efforts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - George Clements discusses the early development of his son, Joey
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - George Clements discusses Minister Louis Farrakhan
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - George Clements remembers Dick Gregory
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - George Clements considers his legacy