January 26, 2021
Preston Kendall, President, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep
Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep is a co-sponsored ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.
December normally would find Cristo Rey’s Campus Ministry busy organizing annual community events: All-school TAIZE prayer services; Student TAIZE trips to the Viatorian Province Center; Celebrations of La Virgen de Guadalupe; and last but definitely not least Las Posadas or The Inns, a re-enactment of the Holy Family’s desperate search for accommodations in Bethlehem before Jesus’ birth.
Director Jim Dippold would be finalizing plans for CRSM’s annual cultural exchange program with the students of Red Cloud Indian School (RCIS). Students from Red Cloud typically travel to Waukegan to experience first-hand CRSM and their families, in addition to volunteering and learning about local justice issues. Soon after, a dozen CRSM students would travel to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, to experience the Red Cloud community on the reservation. The friendships and experiences that have resulted can last a lifetime.
Though the pandemic has delayed the exchange program, Cristo Rey and Red Cloud are still connecting. In December, students, alumni, and faculty from both schools participated in a virtual Advent Taize prayer service hosted by Red Cloud. Venecia Rodriguez (CRSM ’18) offered a faith reflection on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and CRSM Senior Fernando Rufino performed a beautiful prayer song. Red Cloud students and staff provided scripture readings, led prayer intentions, and asked Talin, a Red Cloud High School alum, to sing a Lakota prayer.
On campus, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was celebrated virtually. The rosary was led by National Hispanic Honor Society students and was live-streamed on the CRSM Facebook page.