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Cristo Rey San Diego High School Stations of the Cross
Brooke Rayford

As a Jesuit, I have received many missions that have given me the opportunity to travel all around the world. Wherever I am, one of the first things I do is to find a Church and look at the Mass schedule. I may not understand the language, but I do understand the importance and meaning of the Eucharist and the language of Christ's love. I hunger for Christ and desire to be nourished and guided by Christ.

Pentecost is a beautiful feast celebrating the birthday of the Church. People from many nations gathered, spoke different languages, and were filled with the Holy Spirit. They all began to speak the word of God, the message of love and mercy, and they all understood one another. People from different nations, languages, races, and cultures, and together as one Body of Christ in peace and harmony.

Some 28 years ago, a group of people gathered here in Chicago to prepare for the birth of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. There were many unknowns, but they did know that if they opened their hearts to the Holy Spirit, they would be nourished and led. Today, a group of people are gathered in Seattle and Orlando preparing to give birth to new Cristo Rey schools, numbers 40 and 41. These groups are eclectic: future students, parents, donors, community leaders, corporate sponsors, etc. These people come from different backgrounds, races, and faiths but are drawn together by the Holy Spirit and the language of Jesus, the language of love. They come together in the presence of Jesus and hear Him say, "Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit, as the Father has sent me, so I send you," and the dream of Cristo Rey continues throughout the country.

As the school years end, I find myself praying with gratitude. I have had the blessing of visiting several of our Cristo Rey schools this past year. I am always uplifted by these visits and inspired by the people I meet. Our schools are truly transformative places for all involved, and the Body of Christ is alive today. You continue to open your hearts to God's Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is evident in the love, joy, peace, compassion, and generosity that fills our schools. As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends us to set the world on fire. Thank you for opening your heart to the Spirit and being led to help build the Kingdom of God in the mission of Cristo Rey.

Prayers for a blessed and safe summer. Viva Cristo Rey!

Jim Gartland, S.J.
Chief Mission Officer
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