Our library/auditorium is a wonderful place for study, some conversation and even music! We open it at 6:30 a.m., and it soon fills with dozens of students who work quickly to finish their assignments in time for their first class at 7:40 a.m. The library is open every afternoon until 6:00 p.m., and on most afternoons I stroll through the room to say hello to our students.
This afternoon one of our volunteers, Nathan Harkins from Kansas City, is playing “Seek to Serve,” “Draw us in the Spirit’s Tether,” and “You are God: Te Deum” on the piano. Nathan, a creative and gifted young man who often regales us with the story of his appearance on The Price is Right, is one of five Cristo Rey Boston volunteers who live in a house nearby and work full-time at our school. The volunteers are critical to our ability to provide the best services and education possible to our 300+ students.
As Nathan plays the piano, I run into one of our sophomores, Anthony O’Connor. Anthony went to Pope John Paul II Academy in Dorchester, works at Quirk Auto, plays soccer and baseball, and is a solid student. At Quirk, he works in the billing and accounting department where he scans documents, files, answers the phone, and enters data. The soccer team just qualified for the state tournament, something he is most excited about! At last spring’s baseball games, I often saw his grandfather, a veteran and retired postal worker, in the stands watching his grandson’s every move.
Anthony is the youngest of four boys, and he lives with his mother, who has been disabled for several years. Anthony works extremely hard, partly to honor a mother who raised four sons alone. He worked at Quirk over the summer, is devoted to his studies, and the only complaint he has about the school is that the lunch portions, while tasty, are not big enough! (We’re working on this.)
Anthony loves Cristo Rey, and he is determined to be the first in his family to go to college. I have no doubt that with the help of our staff, including our volunteers, Anthony will achieve that goal and much more.
As I walk away, Nathan belts out “Seek to Serve.” The song is about service: “May I live in the world as one who always seeks to serve. Lord, teach me how to live and how to serve.”
Well, one thing for sure is that Nathan has learned to serve, and Anthony, who could not be more thankful for the opportunities given to him by Cristo Rey Boston High School, is learning to serve as well.
We’re building something wonderful and beautiful here in Savin Hill. We’re building a new world, the Kingdom Jesus envisioned. You can hear it and see it every day. If you ever lose hope, come to Cristo Rey, listen to the music, meet our students, and I guarantee that your faith will be restored and strengthened.