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Fr. George Clements celebrates special student Mass at Saint Xavier University

Internationally renowned humanitarian’s visit part of Black History Month

Chicago (Feb. 6, 2007) – As part of its celebration of Black History Month, Saint Xavier University hosts a special student Mass led by international humanitarian Father George Clements at 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 11, in McDonough Chapel, located on Saint Xavier’s Chicago campus at 3700 W. 103rd St. 

Students can also attend a dinner with Clements at 6 p.m. before the Mass. Students interested in attending the dinner should contact Campus Ministry at (773) 298-3900 or at campusministry@sxu.edu.  

Clements, 75, has dedicated his life to building successful coalitions that support economic and social justice. A native Chicagoan, he graduated from Corpus Christi Elementary School and Quigley Seminary before studying at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. He earned both a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy and a B.A. in sacred theology. He was ordained in May 1957 as a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
 
Clements served as pastor of Holy Angels Church from 1969 to 1991. He is a founder of both the Black Catholic Clergy Caucus and the African-American Police League. In 1981, Clements became the first priest to adopt a child. He subsequently adopted three more children. He founded One Church-One Child, a program dedicated to finding adoptive parents for homeless African-American and biracial children. More than 110,000 children have been adopted as a result of the program. 

Clements is also active in the war on drugs.  He mobilized a successful drive to enact laws forbidding the sale of drug paraphernalia. Beginning in 1993, he developed and implemented One Church – One Addict, a project that recruits faith communities to participate along with health care and educational agencies in supporting recovering addicts.  More than 800 churches in 31 states have become involved in the program.

Louis Gossett Jr. portrayed Clements in The Father Clements Story, the 1987 award-winning film produced and broadcasted by NBC.

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Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its Loop location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.