Oh the places he's been!
Houston's news media continues to cover the incredible work happening at Cristo Rey Jesuit, as one of Houston's hottest magazines, 002 Houston, profiles Fr. TJ Martinez, SJ, and Cristo Rey Jesuit.
Class is almost out at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory. There is a palpable sense of relief, but students are still eager to learn. Some will be back for summer school, others for an SAT prep course, and the new freshman class will arrive in early August for work-study training. Welcome to the Cristo Rey Network, where 6,000 students from low-income families across America are experiencing an educational revolution.
Fr. TJ Martinez, SJ, Cristo Rey Jesuit's President and University of Texas School of Law Alum (Class of 1996) is featured in the most recent issue of UT Law, the magazine of the University of Texas School of Law.
With his trademark black cowboy boots and silver belt buckle complementing his more traditional black suit and clerical collar, the Reverend T. J. Martinez, SJ, is easy to pick out among the students and staff at the Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston. Equal parts cheerleader and task master, Martinez roams the campus offering students encouragement while demanding that they strive to reach their full potential.
Due to the high demand for Fr. Martinez's pastoral services, speaking engagements, and companionship for social events and travel, and because he’s just plain fun to be around, Cristo Rey Jesuit is launching a new program that will enable Fr. Martinez to be in a multitude of places at once!
The "FLAT FR. MARTINEZ PROJECT" will add extra zest to your endeavors this summer by having the opportunity to share Fr. Martinez and the Cristo Rey Jesuit story with people across the country and even around the world.
Many of you may remember the "Flat Stanley Project" from elementary school in which you document the places and activities that the beloved paper doll has encountered. As "Flat Fr. Martinez" travels with friends of Cristo Rey Jesuit this summer, we will be tracking his adventures on our website.
If you are planning a vacation this summer and believe Fr. Martinez to be a good travel companion, but his schedule makes him unavailable, we are offering “FLAT FR. MARTINEZ” as a good alternative! While the real Fr. Martinez is the optimal choice, we believe that “FLAT FR. MARTINEZ” will provide you with hours of entertainment and summer fun! Just think of the added joy on your road trip, flight or cruise when you have a life-size cutout of Fr. Martinez's head alongside you. Finally, someone who doesn't talk back!
Our hope is that you will be asked about your unusual travel companion when he accompanies you at a café table, on an amusement ride, or maybe on an elevator at the Eiffel Tower. Wherever you go, be sure to tell inquisitors about this amazing school in Houston, Texas and about its dynamic Jesuit president. Tell others that it is changing the future of many economically disadvantaged youth in the city and that they can help by spreading our story as well. If you decide to travel with "FLAT FR. MARTINEZ" make sure to snap photos of him with you, your family, and any new friends you meet along the way.
We are hoping to see photos of ‘FLAT FR. MARTINEZ all over the world! Let’s see how far Fr. Martinez and the Cristo Rey Jesuit story travels!
The buzz continues to grow about Cristo Rey Jesuit and has become the hot new topic amongst the Dallas Jesuit community. On April 29, 2010, due to high demand, Fr. Martinez and his Advancement Team hit the road to do what they do best—share the Cristo Rey Jesuit story. A group of eight Dallas Jesuit alumni parents hosted a lovely party for their friends to introduce them to Fr. Martinez and the new education model that is Cristo Rey Jesuit. The beautiful home of Mary and John Beecherl was packed with business and community leaders anxious to hear our story.
For Fr. Martinez, the gathering was also a great opportunity to reunite with old friends, as Fr. Martinez served as the Director of Community Services at Dallas Jesuit during his regency several years ago -- Fr. Martinez was a favorite teacher and mentor for many of the party-goers’ sons. The alumni parents were impressed to see how far this dynamic young Jesuit priest has come!
The evening was a great success---the excitement of this wonderful school is spreading beyond our great city!
Mary and John Beecherl
Kay and Tony Copp
Denise and John Dunlap
Phyllis and Mike Luckey
Anne and Scott O’Brien
Patty and Mac Stewart
Mary Ann and Max Wernick
Cristo Rey Jesuit debuted its first group of thespians on Friday, May 21st at its production of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten in the Cristo Rey Café.
The play included materials from Robert Fulghum’s books All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten; It was on Fire When I Lay Down On It; Uh-Oh; Maybe, Maybe Not; and From Beginning to End. It was collection of lessons and moral tales touching on a variety of topics from life-long love to following your dreams, to the meaning of life and death.
The production was professional from start to finish, with stage lighting and a lighting board, a sound system, musical accompaniment, and a playbill-like program. The most professional aspect of the play, however, was the student actors themselves. Each of them –many of whom had never taken a Drama class before –performed with zest and emotion.
Assistant Director, Jeremy Zipple, SJ, said, “It was extraordinary to watch the transformation from the beginning of rehearsal to the final production. One student, who had been pretty dismissive of the whole process said to me afterwards that he couldn’t believe the adrenaline rush and he couldn’t wait to do it again next year.”
The students were not natural-born stars, however. They worked hard all semester to reach the caliber of acting seen during the performance of the pay.
“They were just so lacking in talent,” said Zipple. “They were so awful. I laughed when I first saw them, but it was exciting to see them come out of their shells. On opening night, to watch them with such confidence brought a few tears to my eye.”
The following week, Katie Davis, the play’s Director said, “I am still reeling with joy and pride as a result of our amazing young actors –who knew they could pull it off so professionally? They honestly blew me away.”
Davis added that the students, staff and faculty who contributed their time and efforts helped achieve one of the most important goals of the school: “Empowering our students with skills, accomplishments, and dreams that reveal to them just how wonderful they are and can be”