This afternoon, Fr. Martinez and a group of Cristo Rey Jesuit students were invited to appear before Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston City Council as Council Member Stephen Costello presented a mayoral proclamation stating that today, May 14, 2013 is officially designated Cristo Rey Jesuit Day in Houston. So, Happy Cristo Rey Jesuit Day to you and yours!! We hope it is a day filled with joy, laughter and hopes for Houston's future!
We celebrated Cristo Rey Jesuit Day by going out for ice cream! How did you celebrate Cristo Rey Jesuit Day? Tag us in your celebratory posts on Facebook and Twitter!
We are proud to announce that Cristo Rey Jesuit and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston are forming an innovative and unique partnership that will allow the school to incorporate internationally traveling exhibitions into our current high school curriculum. Through the great work of Nancy and Richard Kinder to help forge this partnership, we will be exposing our students and their families to the museum's expansive resources while providing a first-class art appreciation program.
On Monday, March 4th, the museum made special arrangements for 120 students to visit the museum while it was closed to the public. They took a self-guided tour of "Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado," an exhibition featuring more than 100 masterworks on loan from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Mrs. Kinder accompanied the first group of students while Gary Tinterow, Director of the MFAH, stopped by to introduce himself and give information about the exhibit.
"All of us at the MFAH were delighted to welcome Cristo Rey Jesuit students to the Museum," said Tinterow. "Although hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Museum each year, we are always especially happy to see students. We hope our new friends from Cristo Rey Jesuit will come back with their families, not just for the Prado show, but Picasso too!"
The student body at Cristo Rey Jesuit had the great privilege of hosting Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi skinhead, on April 10 for an enlightening presentation on fighting prejudice. The visit was made possible through the generosity of the Southwest Anti-Defamation League, an organization that works to fight hatred and encourage diversity in schools.
A dynamic and influential speaker, Meeink told the story of his violent childhood in South Philadelphia and his yearning to find a place where he belonged. After years in the Neo-Nazi movement and in prison, he came to the realization that the radical beliefs he was taught by the Neo-Nazis were false. He discovered that he truly did not hate people of other ethnicities but could empathize with many who had similar backgrounds.
Riveted by Meeink's story, many students personally thanked him for sharing his past and made plans to read his book, Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, copies of which were donated to the Cristo Rey Jesuit library.
As springtime comes into full bloom, our Corporate Work-Study Program is well into its recruiting season for new work-study jobs. With an anticipated 450 students at Cristo Rey Jesuit next fall, CWSP is pursuing its "Drive for 35" campaign to sign 35 new companies to our unique partnership for the 2013-2014 academic year.
An enormous contribution to the "Drive for 35" was the annual Champions Circle Breakfast, held on February 26th at the Junior League of Houston. With over 100 business leaders in attendance, Founding President Father Martinez, SJ, and Dan Walsh, Director of CWSP spoke of their appreciation for the atendees' participation and interest in Cristo Rey Jesuit. Highlights of the breakfast included panel discussions with students and testimonials by current sponsors Jeb Bashaw, CEO of Bashaw & Company and Keith Fullenweider, Partner at Vinson and Elkins, LLP. The breakfast alone yielded 5 new corporate sponsors and a multitude of interest meetings with potential sponsors.
As Catholic school students all across the city took a short break from school while their teachers attended the National Catholic Educational Association convention in Houston this past week, Cristo Rey Jesuit students headed out of town to visit Texas colleges and universities in neighboring cities. Cristo Rey Jesuit sophomores spent a day in Austin and San Marcos, exploring St. Edward's University, Concordia University and Texas State University. Meanwhile, juniors took a 2-day trip to San Antonio to learn about Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary's University, University of the Incarnate Word and University of Texas San Antonio. The trips, which were made possible by the generosity of a Cristo Rey Jesuit donor, were incredibly fulfilling and eye-opening for students as they came to understand the types of schools they are interested in attending and the critical questions to ask during their college search.
Since the historic announcement of our Jesuit Pope Francis, local Houston news media continues to look to Reverend TJ Martinez, SJ for a Jesuit perspective into what this news means for the Church and for the world. This past Tuesday, March 19th, Fr. Martinez spent the morning with Fox Channel 26's news team for the Mass of Inauguration.