Posts Tagged ‘Cristo Rey model’

Jesuit Father James Van Dyke Named Principal of New Cristo Rey School in Atlanta

Jesuit Father James R. Van DykeJesuit Father James R. Van Dyke has been named founding principal of the new Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, opening in fall 2014. Fr. Van Dyke, who currently teaches English and religion at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, N.Y., has worked in Jesuit secondary education for 24 years.

Cristo Rey Atlanta is a newly sponsored ministry of the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces of the Society of Jesus. The 500-student school will be part of the Cristo Rey network, which provides low-income students with a rigorous college prep curriculum. Students also participate in a corporate work-study program, which defers tuition costs.

Fr. Van Dyke, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia; a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Weston School of Theology (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry); and a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.

After entering the Jesuits in 1981, Fr. Van Dyke was ordained in 1993 and professed final vows in 2004. Before teaching at Fordham Prep, he was a teacher and faculty chaplain at Xavier High, chaplain of Regis High School in New York City and an English teacher at Canisius High School in Buffalo and at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, N.Y. In addition to his teaching duties, he has also served as student chaplain, retreat director, yearbook moderator and coach of swimming, crew and mock trial.

Fr. Van Dyke has volunteered extensively as a Sunday assistant at parishes, most recently at the Church of St. Thomas More in New York City, and served on the boards of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, Regis High School and Fordham Prep. [Xavier High School, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School]

Jesuit Named President of New Cristo Rey School Set to Open in San Jose, Calif.

Jesuit Father Peter PabstA new Cristo Rey Network school has been approved to open in San Jose in 2014, and Jesuit Father Peter Pabst has been named its first president. Endorsed by the California Province of the Society of Jesus, the new Cristo Rey San Jose High School will be supported by the Diocese of San Jose and Five Wounds Portuguese National Parish.

Fr. Pabst is the founder and current president of two middle schools in San Jose: Sacred Heart Nativity School for boys, opened in 2001, and Our Lady of Grace Nativity School for girls, opened in 2006. Both schools provide Catholic education to low-income students and prepare them for college preparatory high school programs.

“Serving at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools has been a great joy,” said Fr. Pabst. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to launch another school for members of our community who find themselves underserved.  I look forward to helping these young people come to know their dreams and to help realize them. To graduate 125 students a year who are college-ready is a blessing for their families and for our community.”

Cristo Rey schools provide a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people living in poverty in urban communities. Cristo Rey students also participate in an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides them with real-world work experience, which helps fund the majority of their education and provides on-the-job training.

Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose is supportive of the new high school: “The Society of Jesus has a long history and commitment to Catholic education nationwide and particularly in the Diocese of San Jose. I am excited about the launch of Cristo Rey San Jose as an opportunity to bring education to those most in need on the east side of San Jose.”

Learn more at the Cristo Rey San Jose High School website.

Jesuit Touts Cristo Rey Model in Op-Ed Piece

Jesuit Father T.J. MartinezJesuit 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.

Jesuit on his Work at Cristo Rey Jesuit in Baltimore

Jesuit Father John Swope with Cristo Rey studentsShare

Jesuit Father John Swope has found that as  founding president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore his life now revolves around finding Christ in Baltimore, one of the most violent cities in the United States.

“I see the daily crime summaries in the newspaper and the stories on local TV news that attest to the crisis in the neighborhoods of beloved Baltimore,” Fr. Swope wrote. “At the same time, I see business leaders, politicians, community organizers, faith-based social service providers and individuals standing up to be catalysts of hope in those same neighborhoods.”

Cristo Rey Jesuit opened in 2007 and will graduate its first class this June. Swope wrote on this milestone: “The Class of 2011 has worked for justice and peace in our neighborhoods, succeeded academically, cried and laughed together, been the first in their families to be accepted into college and are dreaming of creating a far better world.”

Read more of Swope’s reflections on his apostolic work.

Jesuit Taps into His Entrepreneurial Spirit while Overseeing Chicago Prep School


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.

He remembers being thrilled that the Society of Jesus would be open to something new. “My exposure to that point had been that we had schools that were long-established, and that we were struggling with diversification and becoming less and less affordable to lower-income families. To see there was this new model that would help kids and families [afford Jesuit education], that was really exciting to me,” he says.

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. An architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune said the new building’s “business-like image and its unrepentant sense of newness — a shock amid the tattered brick buildings around it — are both there by design, sending a message that the building marks a fresh start.”

Despite being in a low-income neighborhood, families can afford the private education Christ the King offers because of its work-study model in which students work five days a month at a corporation, helping them pay for their tuition. A few students share a full-time job at businesses such as U.S. Bank, Loyola Medical Center and even the Chicago Blackhawks.

Education had been Fr. Devron’s passion even before joining the Society, and it led him to his vocation. After attending Notre Dame as an undergrad, he taught in the Bronx. He thought he would teach for a year and then go to law school, but teaching put him in touch with his deeper desires.

“I began to wonder and pray and ask myself what it would be like if I were to continue teaching, but to do so as a priest ultimately,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »