Archive for the ‘High School’ Category
Jesuit Father Chris Devron says he has always been interested in start-ups and has an entrepreneurial personality. So it’s fitting that he’s president of Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School, the first all-new Catholic high school on Chicago’s West Side in more than 80 years.
Fr. Devron has come full circle in many ways. In 1995 he was a Jesuit novice in Chicago when he witnessed the beginning of the country’s first Cristo Rey school, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, while attending the press conference announcing that the Jesuits were starting the school.
Christ the King, which follows the Cristo Rey work-study model, opened at a temporary site with 120 students in 2008, and its brand new building opened in January 2010.
Ignatian News Network met up with Fr. Devron to learn more about the man behind the collar.
A recent addition to Brophy is Loyola Academy, which provides a Catholic, Jesuit education to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys who demonstrate academic promise but have had limited educational opportunities. Loyola Academy currently serves one class of sixth grade boys, and will add a new sixth grade class for the 2012/2013 school year.
Fr. Reese recently spoke with us by phone from Phoenix to discuss the work of Loyola Academy and about his own background as a Jesuit. You can listen to our podcast with Reese via the player below.
Fifty years ago, in 1961, Jesuit Father Patrick Howell entered the Society of Jesus at Sheridan, Ore, the novitiate for Jesuits in the Northwest.Today, Fr. Howell is the rector (religious superior) of the Jesuit Community at Seattle University and professor of pastoral theology. In this piece for the Seattle Times, Fr. Howell looks back upon his time as a Jesuit and his own travails.
A recent graduate of Gonzaga University, I was only 21, but my peers, most of whom had entered directly from a Jesuit high school, such as Seattle Prep or Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, considered me one of the “old men.”
The years pass swiftly, but they have been full of grace and certainly much more joy than sorrow.
I was blessed with first-class opportunities for advanced education. After initial studies in spirituality, prayer, Jesuit tradition and a dose of Latin and Greek, I studied philosophy and English literature at Boston College.
Then came three years of high-school teaching at Jesuit High in Portland. I survived the trials and testing by high-school boys and grew to love the personal interaction and challenge of teaching English, creative writing and poetry and advising the high school newspaper.
This “formation” period of teaching in high school probably accounts for why most Jesuits are such good teachers and homilists. Survival demands that you develop rhetorical skills and a flair for the dramatic — even though it’s not native to your personality — in order to grab the attention of 28 sophomore boys for 50 minutes each day…
But another significant portion of my life has been spiritual care of those who have suffered severe mental illness.
All this arose as a surprise, when I suffered a psychotic breakdown myself at age 35 and then recovered through excellent psychiatric care and the good graces and support of family and friends…
This “grace” led to an amazingly rich ministry with people with mental illness and their families.
Years ago, Jesuit Father Michael Buckley, in an address to Jesuit seminarians asked, “Is this man sufficiently weak to be a priest?”…
Why weakness? Because, according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, it is in this deficiency, in this interior lack, in this weakness, that the efficacy of the ministry and priesthood of Christ lies. “For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)
I think, after 50 years, I can rejoice in being “weak enough” to allow the grace of Christ to shine through and carry the load.
More of Howell’s life as a Jesuit can be found in this piece in the Seattle Times.
Jesuit Father T.J. Martinez, the founding president of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston, recently had an op-ed piece published in the Houston Chronicle, touting the Society of Jesus’ innovative Cristo Rey educational model. In the piece, Fr. Martinez suggests that the Cristo Rey model offers families a way to take the legislators out of his state’s educational dilemma.
“Rather than looking to Austin — or to any state or federal support in general — the bills are paid through a college prep program that integrates a paying job as part of the students’ weekly curriculum,” writes Martinez.
Students at Cristo Rey schools work one day a week at a corporation doing entry-level white-collar jobs, with their salaries going toward tuition.
Martinez cites the fact that the Texas legislature has cut funds for public schools; meanwhile the state ranks low in SAT scores, teacher salaries and senior graduation rates.
Martinez notes that the Cristo Rey network has been operating for more than 15 years and boasts a 99 percent college acceptance rate. ”This program is a proven success, offering a hand up rather than a hand out,” he writes.
Read the full article by Martinez at the Houston Chronicle.
Fr. Paredes said that he was comfortable with his pastoral ministry at two Jesuit parishes, but that “my vocation within the Jesuit vocation, has been teaching high school kids.”
However, coming to Loyola did present some challenges, such as replacing a Jesuit teacher who devoted 23 years of ministry to Loyola and teaching in a coed school for the first time.
Despite the challenges, he writes, “I can say that coming back to teach has been a blessing.”
“To be the only Hispanic male on the faculty, as well as a Jesuit priest, has some advantages when I teach any subject,” Paredes writes. “I encourage my students to open their eyes and see that a different world is possible. I am impressed to see that very often my students relate their experiences to the social teaching of our Catholic faith.”
Paredes writes, “A Jesuit has to be able to engage in any ministry, moving from serving old folks to young ones, from the poor to the upper class, and in so doing fulfill the will of God.”
For more reflections from Paredes, visit the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces Jesuit Vocations website.