Cristo Rey Signature Gospel

The gospel from St. Luke that we had on Monday of the second week of Advent was about the people who took the paralytic to hear Jesus preach, but found the house too crowded. So undaunted those who were carrying the sick person climbed up on the roof and lowered him down through the tiles to right where Jesus was standing. And Jesus ends up healing him of his ills.

I like to call it “the Cristo Rey signature gospel.” It expresses what hopefully will always be our spirit. People wrung their hands and came to the conclusion that our Catholic high schools had to move out of the inner city when the cost of education went so far beyond the people’s capacity to pay for it. The Cristo Rey spirit is not to be daunted, just like those who were carrying the paralytic. There is a crowd? There is no more room left to enter the house? Well, we have to look for another way to go about it. How about entering through the roof?

When the Chicago Provincial asked if we had decided how we were going to pay for the new school we were organizing for the Pilsen neighborhood, we had no answer for him. In a case of divine intervention, we got the idea of hiring a consultant and asking him for some ideas. That was when our friend Rick Murray thought about it and came back to suggest “What if every student had a job?”

There must be another way to do it. And there was.


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