St. James Father Matt Foley — Former Army Chaplain Who Inspired Chris Farley’s SNL Character Helps Suburban Community Through Challenging Times

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St. James Catholic Church July 2018 while undergoing renovation and expansion construction
St. James Catholic Church July 2018 while undergoing renovation and expansion construction.

For one Chicago-area pastor and former Army Chaplain, resilience and incredible life experiences have helped him navigate a tightly-knit community through an incredibly challenging time.

Father Matt Foley may have been an inspiration for Chris Farley’s exaggerated Saturday Night Live character, but the exaggeration was just a joke. The real Matt Foley has accomplished much in life — as a pastor in a mission parish in Mexico, as Captain in the U.S. Army and pastor at St. James Parish in Arlington Heights.

See also …

WGN News | Army chaplain who inspired Chris Farley’s SNL character helps suburban community through challenging times

After their cleaning lady finds pot in the house, parents (Phil Hartman, Julia Sweeney) hire motivational speaker Matt Foley (Chris Farley) to talk to their teens (David Spade, Christina Applegate) about drugs and their future (Aired 05/08/93).

Now in prison, Matt Foley (Chris Farley) joins Deshawn Powers (Martin Lawrence) to scare kids straight with their tales of prison life, the market for bitches and how a cell and a toilet can’t compare to a van down by the river [Season 19, 1994].

Motivational speaker Matt Foley at the Gym – Saturday Night Live.



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Cold Opening: Matt Foley tries to show off his language skills – Saturday Night Live.

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