The “labor priest” is making a comeback, according to US Catholic magazine.
Leading the charge is Father Clete Kiley, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. As a young priest, Kiley had many opportunities to help workers and to learn from the previous generation of labor priests. He eventually received the permission of Cardinal Francis George, Chicago’s archbishop at the time, to pursue this work full time as the director of immigration policy for the labor union UNITE HERE.
In 2012, Kiley followed in his mentors’ footsteps by organizing a new generation of priests in the labor movement. Working with the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, Kiley founded the Priest-Labor Initiative, a group of bishops, priests, and scholars committed to supporting worker justice.
In this interview from the September 2015 issue of U.S. Catholic, Kiley discusses the history of the labor priests and their role in the church today.
Among the many priests, he mentions are early Chicago YCW chaplains, Reynold Hillenbrand and Jack Egan.
Catholic priests and the labor movement (US Catholic)