People here at the Cristo Rey Network office seem to think I should write a blog. In fact, I am getting quite a bit of pressure to do so. They assure me that there will be people who will read what I write q.e.d. (I knew that Latin education would come in handy some day!) My first reaction is that I am too old to be doing this sort of thing but then I think that if it will help the Cristo Rey mission, why not?
Some have asked why we chose the name Cristo Rey. Obviously it’s Spanish and means Christ the King. (Sometimes people think we are saying Crystal Ray!) We chose it in that language because the original school was meant to serve those who live in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood which is almost exclusively Mexican. (Chicago is the second largest Mexican city outside of Mexico, after Los Angeles, of course.) But most importantly, the concept of Christ the King is tremendously powerful in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Himself a knight for one of the royal Spanish families, in his conversion he took the idea of defending an earthly king and applied it to the King of the Universe. He asked himself why he didn’t spend his life more profitably promoting the Kingdom of God. So that is the idea of the Cristo Rey Network of schools. They are first and foremost to prepare young women and men to be followers of Jesus and to give themselves to the cause of promoting His kingdom. The Network of schools is about taking those God-given talents that are being wasted and giving them a chance to flourish, all for the Kingdom of God!