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Dreaming of Home

Bing Crosby’s 1943 hit Christmas song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” inevitably makes me think about the meaning of home. For some people, home is very real but sadly for others, as the song goes, it is found only in a dream. If we are fortunate, home is a place where we feel valued, nurtured, and able to be our truest selves. Home is also the place where we learn what it means to be part of a family: the responsibility to others, the compromises and the connections, and the lessons we can apply to the many other relationships and communities in our lives.

These thoughts of the meaning of home are also in my mind as I think about the future home of Cristo Rey Jesuit. As we announced in November, we have purchased a property at 1818 W. National Avenue in Milwaukee that will become our permanent home in the fall of 2019. Our students are understandably excited about the prospect of having a school with enough space to accommodate our growing student body, spaces to support their athletic and artistic pursuits, and even small “luxuries” like full-sized lockers that can hold their winter coats. Our staff is enthusiastic about intentionally designed instructional spaces, resources to improve individualized instruction for each student, and opportunities that a larger campus will offer student life. We are happy to have found a future home that is easily accessible to families from throughout Milwaukee, and equally convenient for us to transport students to our 58 corporate work partners every day. Our future neighbors in vibrant Clarke Square have given us a warm welcome, and we look forward to becoming a valuable part of the neighborhood.

But beyond all of these tangible elements of our new building are the things that will make it home. When we eventually move to our new location, we will bring with us the sense of community that we have already established. Students were recently asked what they loved most about Cristo Rey Jesuit:

  • “The community of students and staff is very loving, motivating, and understanding.”
  • “I love the community feeling that the class has each with each other. We have grown to accept one another.”
  • “I feel like we are a family when we come together.”

The responses from staff to the same question echoed these sentiments. It is heartening to know that we have created a school that feels like home for our students, a place where they can feel valued and cared for as they learn the skills they will need to go out into the larger community and become men and women in service of others. As we develop plans for the future, I am excited to build the home that currently exists in our dreams into a permanent home for our students for years to come.

– Andrew Stith

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