Thursday, March 17, 2005

Vo To 05 Redux.

As promised in my last post, here's another update on what Ben, Mike and I have taken to calling "Vo To 05" (pronounced "voe toe oh-five"), our whirlwind tour of Chicago-area Jesuit high schools. Yesterday we took a break from giving vocation talks to tour two of our province's most notable and interesting apostolates, Chicago-based publishing house Loyola Press and gargantuan Loyola University Medical Center in suburban Maywood. The Press was really neat - thanks are due to the president, Father George Lane, for leading an interesting and in-depth tour, buying us lunch and giving us free books. LUMC wasn't really my cup of tea, but I still genuinely enjoyed seeing the facility; I was surprised to learn that Loyola University Chicago is the only Jesuit institution in the country that still owns its own hospital, a distinction which bears vivid witness to the school's commitment to patient care and medical education.

Today we spoke to classes at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in the predominantly Mexican Pilsen-Little Village section of Chicago. As reported in this November post, Cristo Rey has won favorable national comment and has inspired a network of similar high schools across the country. If what we found today is any indication, the praise that has been heaped on Cristo Rey is well-deserved. The kids were enthusiastic and respectful and asked great questions, and the faculty and staff were dedicated and dynamic. I should also note that the Cristo Rey faculty includes a number of Georgetown alumni, most of whom came to the school through the ingenious Jesuit Alumni Volunteer program. To sum it up, a fun day at a great school.

Tonight my confreres and I are staying with the Jesuit community at St. Ignatius College Prep, a venerable Chicago institution where we'll be giving vocation talks tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have time tomorrow evening or on Saturday to give another update on this, the final stop of Vo To 05. AMDG.


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