Cristo Rey's Service Program provides students with opportunities to engage in activities to live out their vocation as "men and women for others." Through the program, we seek to be a resource to the community by sharing our greatest of resources - our students. Through opportunities for education, direction action, reflection and advocacy, students make progress toward the goals established by the Grad at Grad statement and grow in commitment to a faith that does justice.
All students are required to complete a service project each school year. By integrating service into the curriculum, we better emphasize the “learning” aspect of service learning and make the experience more meaningful. Instead of accumulating hours, freshmen participate in eight-week service sessions around the Pilsen neighborhood – approximately 15 hours of direct service – followed by in-class reflections. Sophomores participate in a social justice oral history project through their English class, including research, direct service, and reflection. As a regular component of their religion class, juniors complete team service projects through a critical, theological lens. Seniors perform a traditional, independent 20-hour service project of their choosing, at their own pace.
Over the summer, students participate in service immersion programs out of state through Nazareth and Bethlehem Farms, in West Virginia, and Jerusalem Farm in Missouri. Through these service-retreat experiences, students live simply while volunteering their days building and repairing homes for families in need.
As a member institution of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, our students join fellow peers at the annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) in Washington, D.C. There, students gathered to discuss issues of social justice, learn, pray, reflect, network, and advocate together.
Student service activities include:
- Volunteering at the Chicago Marathon (200+ students per year).
- Serving dinner at Franciscan Outreach Soup Kitchen and St. Pius Church.
- Working alongside the residents of Misericordia/Heart of Mercy.
- Assisting Little Village Community Council with key events like the Expungement Workshop, Halloween Party, voter registration & information campaigns, and clothing distribution.
- Serving as catechist assistants in home parishes.
- Joining with students from other Jesuit high schools in Chicago to pray, serve, and reflect during our annual Jesuit Service Day.
- Traveling to Nazareth Farm, Bethlehem Farm, and Jerusalem Farm for a week of service, simplicity, and prayer during the summer.