"This is a journey we are all taking together and no one is sure of the way," he said during his homily, addressing students, parents, teacher, trustees, administrators and officials from the Archdiocese of Newark. "Where will this road take us? How will we know where the Lord is leading us? We will know when we see Christ the King bringing good news to those who need to hear it the most in this city. We will know when people, who thought there was no future, begin to see that opportunities do exist. We will know when students find a reason for coming to school and say that this is where I'm going to become the person I want to be."
Like other Cristo Rey schools, the opening of Christ the King will be a beacon that signals "we are no longer willing to tolerate the vast waste of talent in our inner cities," Father Foley declared.
He said the launch of Christ the King is an encouraging milestone to achieve the goal of the national network's "12 by 12" campaign: 12,000 students in Cristo Rey schools by the year 2012. Currently there are about 5,000 students attending the nation's 19 Cristo Rey schools.
The Archdiocese of Newark sponsors Christ the King, which is endorsed by The Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and The Marist Brothers of the Schools. The school utilizes the Corporate Internship Program (CIP) for its students, which is based on the national Cristo Rey model first developed in Chicago in 1996. Under the CIP, Christ the King students will go to school four days a week; one day a week they will work at entry-level jobs at corporate offices in the Newark area.
The school welcomed a freshman class of 105 students. Cristo Rey is the first Catholic high school to open here since 1964. Kevin Cuddihy is the principal of Christ the King. Father Edward Glynn, S.J., is the president of the school. Other school officials include John Neil, director of CIP; Pamela Rauscher, Ph.D., director of admissions; Ed Santana, dean of students; Anthony Nicotera, director of development; Sister Maureen Sullivan, S.C., business manager; and Sister Elizabeth Vermaelen, S.C., assistant to the president. Father Kevin Hanbury serves as the archdiocesan superintendent of schools and vicar of education.
Father Glynn pointed to the declining quality of urban education ranks as one of the most serious problems in the United States. He touted Cristo Rey as an "institutionally replicable way of improving urban education" in Newark and throughout the country.
Dignitaries taking part in the opening ceremonies included Cory A. Booker, the mayor of Newark; Most. Rev. Edgar M. da Cunha, Regional Bishop for Essex County; and Neil Jasey, the chairman of the board of trustees for Christ the King.