Cristo Rey San Diego is sponsored by the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. Below is a reflection from Fr. John Howard, CJM, on this blessed partnership.
From the foundation of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary by Saint John Eudes 375 years ago, the Eudists have always been involved with secondary education. Although John Eudes himself continued to preach parish mission and founded seminaries for the formation of priests, he always had a special attention to the education of the poor and the youth. Our first such institution was in Lisieux in Normandy in 1654. The Eudists were eliminated by the French Revolution and regrouped in 1826. Since then we always had high schools, colleges and universities beside seminaries and preaching. Our focus has always been to educate not the elites but to create new elites for the poorer population that couldn’t afford it. In Canada it was among the poorest of the poor, the French Acadian population of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, then in the blue collar sectors of Quebec City, Montreal and Buffalo, N.Y. Some of the Eudist priests working in San Diego are the product of this dedication of the Congregation to educate children of the working class. In Colombia, South America, it is the very successful Universidad Minuto de Dios which has spread throughout that country and beyond.
The Cristo Rey motto of “Transforming Urban America One Student At A Time” seems to be a natural for us. So, at our last Regional Assembly this past May we voted unanimously to accept the Religious Sponsorship of the Cristo Rey San Diego High School. We are not very numerous, but we have a long educational tradition and a very rich spirituality to share. The spirituality of Saint John Eudes focuses on the love and mercy of God. It challenges us to be “Missionaries of Mercy” making that love real especially for those who needed the most.
Fr. John H. Howard, CJM
Director of Development