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Br. Matt Wooters Makes Waves for Cristo Rey

In honor of the 25th anniversary of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Board of Directors member Br. Matt Wooters, SJ made a splash by swimming eight miles in Lake Michigan this month.

Br. Matt is a lifelong swimmer who believes that all of our gifts and talents come from God and can be used for the service of God's people - including insanely bold desires to swim extreme distances!  With a goal of raising $25,000 for the school, Wooters swam from Loyola University in Rogers Park to Navy Pier to model the trajectory of success for Cristo Rey students from higher education and onto successful careers downtown.

After some quiet time and prayers for good weather, Wooters set out in Lake Michigan before dawn under the watchful eye of his support crew onboard a boat that followed him on his journey. Br. Matt stopped every half hour or so, treading water as he refueled. After nearly five hours, under the midmorning sun, Br. Matt swam into Ohio Street Beach to a crowd of cheering Cristo Rey students, supporters, members of the media, and colleagues from the Midwest Jesuits.

Br. Matt reflected on his experience, “when I swim, I have a lot of uninterrupted time to pray, and something that I was thinking about was in St. John’s Gospel. A young boy offers his meager bread and fish to feed the huge crowd. It certainly isn’t enough to feed the hungry hordes but he offers it freely. Jesus blesses it and multiplies it. All are satisfied. And there are leftovers. Baskets full! (The swim) was never about me. I shared my own version of my sad stale fish and old bread and said, ‘Take, Lord, receive. I’m pretty good at swimming and it’s something I love, any chance you can use this?’ It was blessed, broken and multiplied. Hundreds of people gave to this fundraiser. Thousands upon thousands of dollars were raised. We all have something to give, I think we are being invited to give freely no matter how small. To take one more stroke. To go a little further. The joy is in the giving. The outcome is out of our hands. Thanks be to God. AMDG. ¡Viva Cristo Rey del Universo!”

Cristo Rey President Antonio Ortiz reflected, “we are so lucky to have Br. Matt on Cristo Rey’s Board of Directors. Like our founders in 1996, Br. Matt had a bold idea to make a difference. This swim is a deeply personal way for Br. Matt to help us celebrate 25 years of Cristo Rey and raise new awareness for our school and our students. We are beyond grateful for his enthusiasm and commitment.”

Br. Matt’s event exceeded his goal and raised more than $29,000 in support of Cristo Rey and its students! Gifts can still be made at www.cristorey.net/makingwaves.

Read more in Chicago Catholic and watch Br. Matt’s interview with Ray Cortopassi on WGN.

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Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Appoints First Alumni to Board of Directors

CHICAGO, IL - In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is proud to announce the appointment of two alumni as new members of the CRJHS Board of Directors. Tiffany Luna ’06 and Guillermo (Memo) Cruz ’03 are the first-ever alumni elected to the Board. Luna and Cruz will each serve a three-year term.

“I am incredibly proud to welcome Tiffany and Memo as Board members for Cristo Rey,” said Dominick Zarcone, President, LKQ Corporation, and Chair of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s Board of Directors. “This is a significant moment in Cristo Rey’s history. Memo and Tiffany are shining examples of the long-term impact of the Cristo Rey education and our Corporate Work Study Program as a pipeline for workforce development.”

Tiffany Luna, MBA, is a Private Equity Principal at PPM America, Inc., where she has been working for the past 10 years. Luna studied International Relations and History at Wellesley College and earned her MBA in Finance and Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2018. In her four years at Cristo Rey, Tiffany worked at GTCR, a private equity firm. As a senior, Tiffany played the role of La Virgen de Guadalupe at the school’s annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass. She is married to a fellow Cristo Rey alum, and they have a daughter.

Tiffany’s path to success has given her the skills, resources, and the desire to give back to her alma mater in this special way. “Cristo Rey and GTCR provided me with social capital, and created bridges to people that have the influence and resources available to help others,” she reflected. “I'm not going to say that my hard work didn't get me to Wellesley, but also Cristo Rey is creating amazing bridges to the social capital that our community needs. At first, I believed that since I had crossed the bridge, it was now my responsibility to help guide others across. However, the more I reflect, the more I realize that I want to serve as a bridge for the students, the alumni, and the Board of Directors.”

Guillermo (Memo) Cruz began working at Aon as a freshman through Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program. He worked there throughout his academic years and upon graduating from Harold Washington College then DePaul University, he was offered a full-time position. For the past 21 years at Aon, Guillermo has been working amongst senior corporate leaders globally in various capacities including communications management, marketing content development, and international network coordination. Cruz is married to a fellow Cristo Rey alum, and they have two children.

Since graduation, Memo has stayed involved with Cristo Rey, coaching flag football, and head coaching the boys’ volleyball team from 2003-2018. “It is our responsibility as alumni of Cristo Rey to give back by providing mentorship and making contributions that will positively impact the student body and the school alike.” he said. Memo also currently mentors Cristo Rey students working at Aon.

“I’ve had the joy, along with their families, of witnessing Memo and Tiffany’s journeys from high school student, to college graduate, to workforce professional,” said Antonio Ortiz, President, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. “Their individual successes will bring meaningful perspective and insightful leadership to our Board. I am more hopeful than ever for the future of our school, students, and alumni.”

Cristo Rey’s Board of Directors is comprised of 25 dedicated individuals from the education, business, religious, and volunteer communities. The Board of Directors supports the mission of Cristo Rey Jesuit, while acting as an advocates and ambassadors for the school, its students, and the Corporate Work Study Program.

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Cristo Rey's Third Annual Giving Day

Save the date for Cristo Rey's third annual day of giving, 1996 Minutes for Cristo Rey, when Cristeros from across the country will come together to show their Cristero Pride. Give on September 30 and help us reach our goal of $25,000 – honoring our 25th anniversary.

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