Cristo Rey says goodbye to legacy members of the faculty and staff of CR, whose spirit and histories cannot be replaced, but who we keep in our hearts. Thank you to German Indacochea, Bernhard Walke, and Fr. Jim Shea for all you have done to make Cristo Rey a better place.
This summer, founding math teacher German Indacochea retired after 24 years in service to Cristo Rey. Moving to the United States from Arequipa, Peru, Mr. Indo helped build Cristo Rey alongside his childhood teacher and mentor, founding President Fr. John Foley, S.J. In the 24 years since, Mr. Indo has done it all in service to the mission, not least arriving first thing each morning to let in students who arrive early before making coffee for his fellow faculty. Even the Cristo Rey crosses that adorn each classroom were crafted by Mr. Indo. In his own words: “We have come a long way! From teaching classes in the old gym, under the East basket to teaching classes online from our homes!” Now, in the words of his colleague, faculty member Mr. Manuel Vasquez, “We ask God to guide and bless him always, to take care of him as he does with all the people who are part of his life. We will see all you have done for our students in the generations to come.” On July 25, 2020, Mr. Indo was presented with an honorary diploma in recognition of his service to Cristo Rey.
This June, Associate Principal Bernhard Walke said farewell to Cristo Rey to begin a new professional chapter as Assistant Principal of Elmwood Park High School. Over the course of his 18 years at Cristo Rey, Mr. Walke served as a teacher, Cross Country coach, Department Facilitator, Head Asesor, and Dean of Students before becoming Associate Principal in 2010. Mr. Walke’s face was the first Cristo Rey saw each morning—greeting students at the front door—and the last as we left—bidding farewell to each student following his enthusiastic “Walke Talkie” announcements. That Mr. Walke’s duties will be shared between two staff members going forward speaks to his legacy at the school.
We also say goodbye and good luck to:
Fr. James Shea, S.J. departs Cristo Rey this August for his new mission: a 9-month Tertianship—the final stage of Jesuit formation. Fr. Jim will begin the program as a spiritual retreat leader at the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma, Ohio before completing the program in Portland, Oregon during the summer of 2021. Over seven academic years at Cristo Rey (‘09-‘10 to ‘11-‘12 and ‘16-‘17 to ‘19-‘20) Fr. Jim lovingly taught English, religion, history, and ethics; celebrated regular community Mass in English and Spanish; and served as Chaplain and Mission and Identity Officer. Generous with his time, caring affect, and his coffee—we wish Fr. Jim the best of luck in the next stage of his calling.