Rev. Michael Pfleger wants school walkout extended to include Chicago victims

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Father Michael Pfleger speaks before a peace championship game in 2013 at St. Sabina. | Sun-Times files

Activist peace priest Michael Pfleger, who is anti-Glock, is on the clock.

“We are answering the call, but not to arms,” said Rev. Pfleger, who plans to heed a call for a 17-minute nationwide school walkout requested by students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to honor the 17 people killed at their Florida school.

“But I think we should add three minutes to that time frame to connect the dots to Chicago,” said Father Pfleger, whose diocese at St. Sabina’s church serves the bullet-ridden Auburn Gresham Englewood neighborhoods.

“Let’s join our brothers and sisters nationwide in the 17-minute walkout; but, here in Chicago, let’s make it a 20-minute remembrance by adding:”

♦ One extra minute in memory of slain Police Commander Paul Bauer.

♦ Two extra minutes for all the victims of Chicago’s gun violence.


“The same week the mass school shooting took place in Parkland, Florida, we lost Commander Bauer to a barrage of bullets,” he said.

“And since Jan 1 — less than eight weeks ago — the Auburn Gresham Englewood neighborhoods have had 24 shootings — seven of which were fatal — and in Chicago during that same time we’ve had 259 wounded and 60 killed in gun-related instances,” Pfleger added.

“I think the kids are going to pave the way for change,” said the activist priest who also plans to lead an anti-gun contingent of buses from Chicago to Washington, D.C., on March 24 to join the national “March For Our Lives” call from the Stoneman Douglas High School students.

“This is an American problem and we have to join together.”

The Kennedy factor . . .

It’s been a rough campaign, but who expected someone to go into labor!

♦ Translation: During a private, no-press-allowed fundraising lunch Tuesday for Dem gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy, the wife of one his most dedicated volunteers went into labor.

Phelloneice Wade “was just days away from her due date, but the couple rarely missed a campaign event,” said a Kennedy source. “So no one was surprised they were there.”

“I kept thinking the birth would be any day now, but not any minute,” chuckled Phelloneice’s hubby, Claiborne, who lives in the Austin community. “So we rushed to Norwegian American Hospital, where daughter Chloe was born a few hours later weighing in at 6 pounds, six ounces,” he said.

A morning back injury Wednesday kept Kennedy away from Springfield and a visit to see Chloe on doctor’s orders — but he was spotted Thursday bearing flowers and a gift of Kennedy/Joy campaign onesies . . . along with a lecture on getting proper sleep.

“He’s raised four kids and now I have four kids,” said Wade. “So I know all about that sleep business. And I probably won’t get any now.”

Coach & Da Hair . . .

Ring. Ring. Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and Super Bowl Bear Brian Urlacher, of hair transplant fame, are doing robo calls for State Rep. Jim Durkin’s west suburban district primary campaign.


Ice cubes: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, founder of Chicago Special Olympics, and Anne Pramaggiore, CEO of ComEd, will be the first plungers into the icy Lake Michigan waters on Sunday, March 4, at the Chicago Polar Plunge.

Also: Watch for former Chicago Bear Otis Wilson to dip and dunk, all for the athletes of the Special Olympics Chicago program.

Sneedlings . . .

The Paper Chase: Congrats to Ariel Investments’ John Rogers on being elected to the board of the New York Times. . . . Condolences to family of my wonderful assistant Francesca Gattuso on the loss of her beloved grandfather, Antonino Gattuso, who died Thursday. No grandfather had a more loving granddaughter. Mayor Rahm Emanuel spotted having lunch at Coco Pazzo on Thursday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Emily Blunt, 35; Aziz Ansari, 35; and Dakota Fanning, 24.

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