Jesuits to Sponsor New Cristo Rey High School in Atlanta
Tags: Cristo Rey Atlanta, Cristo Rey Network, Jesuit, Jesuit Father T.J. Martinez, jesuits, Society of Jesus
The Jesuits of the Maryland Province are sponsoring a new Cristo Rey high school in Atlanta, which will be the first Jesuit school in the city. The targeted date for the opening of the 500-student school is fall 2014.
Jesuit Father T.J. Martinez, founding president of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Prep School in Houston, has been appointed to the new school’s board of directors to help duplicate the success of his school.
Cristo Rey Atlanta will follow the Cristo Rey model, which educates low-income students with a rigorous college prep curriculum. Students also participate in a corporate work-study program, providing them with job experiences and helping to pay tuition costs.
Chairman of the Board Bob Fitzgerald, who has previously served as executive director of the Jesuit’s Ignatius Retreat Center in Atlanta, called Cristo Rey a “beautiful model to break the cycle of poverty that so many kids are caught in.”
“There are over 50 Jesuit secondary schools in the U.S. We’re getting a huge amount of expertise and commitment and mission-driven sponsorship for Cristo Rey,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s going to be a college prep, academically challenging school preparing kids for college, but there is so much more to this. It’s developing the whole person where they see themselves as discerning on how to serve others. That’s a driving part of Jesuit philosophy and a driving part of Ignatian philosophy. In everything we do, the model is for the greater glory of God.”
Feasibility study coordinator Timothy Hipp said that the other religious orders helping to support the project, the Marists and Passionists, welcome collaboration with the Jesuits. “It is especially attractive [to have Jesuit sponsorship] in Atlanta as there is no Jesuit educational institution for Jesuit alums to support or rally behind,” said Hipp. [Georgia Bulletin]