Message from President
I’ll never forget the first day I came to visit Cristo Rey back in the summer of 2000. Twelve years ago, we were still the first and only Cristo Rey school in the country, having opened only four years earlier. And now, look how far we’ve come! What started in Pilsen in 1996 has inspired a network of 25 schools around the country operating on the Corporate Work Study Model. Thanks to hundreds of generous supporters and benefactors, we have a beautiful campus that includes state-of-the-art classrooms, a library, athletic facilities, and a recently renovated Chapel of the Sacred Heart. And our enrollment, which started with 65 pioneering young women and men, has grown to more than 560 students. God has truly been good to Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and I profoundly believe it is one of most important success stories for the City of Chicago.
Despite how far we have come, the mission that inspired Cristo Rey is still at the heart of everything we do – to advance the human and intellectual capacities, as well as the religious and cultural heritage, of all those it serves. The goal is to maximize the students' potential to prepare them to assume leadership roles in the civic, religious, business and cultural life of our city and nation. We accomplish our mission by preparing our students for college through our rigorous academic curriculum and dual-language program; for a career and responsible civic leadership through our Corporate Work Study Program; and most importantly, surrounding our students with the faith formation necessary to serve as Christian leaders.
The Society of Jesus – more commonly known as the Jesuit order – has a long and proud history in Pilsen. The great Jesuit missionary and explorer, Father Jacques Marquette, spent his last winter (1674-75) on the banks of the Chicago River in Pilsen, less than a mile from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, thus becoming the first European to winter in what would be incorporated as the city of Chicago over 150 years later. The school is two blocks west of Damen Avenue, named after another Jesuit missionary, Father Arnold Damen. And now, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School proudly carries on the Jesuit tradition to do all things ad majorem Dei gloriam – for the greater glory of God.
I invite you to come visit Cristo Rey and see first-hand how dedicated, hardworking, and respectful our students are as they study, work, and pray together.
¡VIVA Cristo Rey!