Cristo Rey Meets StoryCorps

Cristo Rey Meets StoryCorps
Posted on 03/29/2016
Father John Foley, S.J. and Preston Kendall

Voices from the Cristo Rey movement were recently invited to record conversations as part of a collaboration between StoryCorps and Georgetown University's American Pilgrimage Project, which aims to shine a spotlight on how Americans' religious beliefs have informed crucial moments in their lives.
Cristo Rey Network Chair Emeritus and Chief Mission Officer John Foley, S.J. joined Preston Kendall, President of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep (Waukegan) for a recording session, and Cristo Rey alumna Jazmin Fermin (Cristo Rey New York '09) engaged in conversation with alumnus Mark Vargas (Cristo Rey Jesuit, Chicago '10). In their conversations with one another, they explored their experience with Cristo Rey and its impact on their faith journeys.

Preston shared, "This has been something that is constantly be active and part of these young people's lives and to be welcomed into that and to maybe somehow have accompanied them on their own journey has been so gratifying. And then to see it grow and grow and grow. It is unexplainable except that because we put the kids first, God is at work in this."

Father Foley talked about the need the first Cristo Rey school filled and the growing Network of 30 schools continues to fill. "God created this world, and God created you and me. And God created us all with a certain amount of potential gifts and qualities and wonderful things that we all have to help bring to fruition in each other. We really began the school in Pilsen in Chicago because so many of the kids were never getting a chance to bring to completion all the possibilities they were and all the possibilities God made in them when he created them."

Listen to Father Foley and Preston Kendall's complete interview here.

Alumni Mark and Jazmin were inspired by their Cristo Rey experience to give back. Mark said, "I applied, interviewed, got in, and it has been to this day a blessing. I don't know where my life would be if I didn't go to Cristo Rey, but I can tell you where it's going to be in the next five to ten years. It's not going to be playing in the fields. It's going to be making a difference in a different capacity."

Jazmin added, "There is so much that I have to give back to my community and help out in one way or another...That was the responsibility that I felt when I went to college."

Listen to Jazmin Fermin and Mark Vargas's interview here.

All StoryCorp recordings are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

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