Message from the Principal
Dear Cristo Rey Philadelphia Students, Parents and Guardians,
Greetings from 5218 North Broad Street! I write this letter in my office during a loud thunderstorm in early August. Yet when I roam our school buildings these days, the hallways and classrooms are extremely quiet. After being here for five years, I know that these quiet days are few and far between, so I am grateful for the opportunity to be truly still, reflect, and look ahead a bit.
As I think about our world and the roles our students do and will play in it, I recall a news article I read in 2001, an article that made a lasting impression on me. Some of the points in the article are still relevant today. In “Where Does the Violence Come From?” Rabbi Lerner boldly states that the “world is out of touch with itself” and is filled with people “who have forgotten how to recognize and respond to the sacredness in each other.” I know that it is difficult to recognize the sacred in the world with so much violence, discrimination, and inequality continuing to occur every day in our own city and country and beyond. I know that it is difficult, but we must try anyway. Perhaps as a society we need to actively work, as Rabbi Lerner writes, to remedy “our world’s incapacity to recognize the spirit of God in each other.” I hope as we begin this year working together as the Cristo Rey family—parents and students and faculty and staff and alumni—that we strive, as much as human beings have the capacity to strive, to recognize and respond to the sacredness in each other. If we can do that generously, I truly believe there is nothing we can’t tackle together.
On Monday August 7, we begin Faculty and Staff Boot Camp—5 days of professional development, team-building, reflection, and planning. I am excited and grateful for our team as we enter the 2017-2018 academic year. When we opened our doors in 2012, every adult in the community promised that their number one responsibility was to love our students wholeheartedly and to see them as sacred. I am proud that our number one responsibility has never changed.
Looking ahead, I know that these quiet days are numbered. Before long, the “noises of Cristo Rey” will be returning: hallway banter, Ms. Sharkey’s greetings to her “People of the World,” lockers slamming, Mr. Antoine’s calls for Table Captains, social hall laughter, “We got that Blue Pride” chants, the occasional “You have detention,” and the indescribable sound that over 485 students make in a place they have made home. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I hope your end of summer is filled with much peace and hope and joy.
With a tremendous amount of Blue Pride,
Michael Gomez, Ed.D.