Remarks made by Dr. William L. Heiser during his installation as Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s second president, September 25, 2015
Good morning. I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to all of you here today. I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve as the second president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. I would like to thank Fr. Provincial Robert Hussey, Wayne Gioioso, and the entire board of trustees for their confidence and trust in my leadership.
I am so grateful that my family is here this morning to celebrate this special day. Thank you to my wonderful wife, Tracy, for her love and support as I take on this new exciting role. Tracy and I met at Loyola University Maryland during our freshman year in 1991 and were married 17 years ago in the Loyola chapel. There is no question that God was watching over me when we met so many years ago.
I’m happy that our two sons, Caden and Conlan, are here this morning. I am so proud of both of you and love you very much. Thank you also to my dad, my brother, Karl, other family members, and my close friends and colleagues from surrounding area Catholic and independent schools for being here to celebrate this special occasion.
Special thanks to the Installation Planning Committee for coordinating a beautiful celebration today. And to the entire faculty and staff,please know how much I appreciate your supporting my transition to Cristo Rey. I am inspired by the love and compassion you show each day for our students and each other. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with all of you.
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is built on the strongest of foundations. We are grateful to be sponsored by the Maryland Province of Jesuits. The Jesuits have been internationally recognized educators for more than 450 years, and have been engaged in education in Baltimore since 1852. Thank you to our Jesuit partners around the country, especially here in Baltimore with St. Ignatius Church, Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy, Loyola Blakefield, and Loyola University Maryland. At this time, please join me in thanking the entire Jesuit community, particularly the Jesuits that are celebrating Mass with us this morning.
Students, it is a privilege to serve each of you. Together, we will continue to build a great Jesuit school that you can take pride in while at CRJ and beyond. I encourage you to remember the Latin word “Magis,” meaning “more” or “better.” Christ calls us to do more for him, and therefore doing more for others. May your daily actions and decisions be guided by this one important word. Thank you for all that you do, each and every day. All of our guests today are inspired by your shining example of what is possible in cities across our country.
I would like to congratulate our freshmen from the Class of 2019. You received a cross today to carry with you during your journey while attending Cristo Rey Jesuit and the years that will follow. The cross is a symbol of Christ’s presence in our lives. Through all the highs and lows you experience, Christ will be with you. Cristo Rey is not just a Catholic school, it is a Jesuit School. For all of our students, when you graduate from Cristo Rey Jesuit you will leave as men and women for others. Your education will be rooted in service, justice, and the expectation that you will continue to strengthen your mind, body, and character. Remember that whatever you go through, God is always with you.
Today, gives us an opportunity to look back at past accomplishments, take review of where we are, and look forward to a new path for an inspiring future. In the year ahead, Cristo Rey Jesuit will develop an ambitious strategic plan that will guide our school for the next five years. We will continue to provide a quality, Catholic college preparatory education. Our students will acquire business and leadership skills as they work in corporations and non-profits across the Baltimore region through our innovative Corporate Internship Program. CRJ is so fortunate to have the support of so many people. Thank you to our benefactors and corporate partners – we are so grateful for your generosity and commitment to our school.
There is no doubt that Cristo Rey Jesuit High School has had an incredible impact on so many lives in such a short period of time. The Cristo Rey Jesuit experience is transformational in every sense of the word. From preparing and inspiring 100% of our graduates to be accepted to college, to building a leadership pipeline for 360 students each year in various jobs and industries, to opening a dialogue between diverse communities, to deepening the faith of our students, faculty and staff.
Cristo Rey Jesuit will continue to build bridges across Baltimore to connect students, families, business leaders, universities, and community members. Every bridge we build will lead to a brighter future for our students and the city of Baltimore. Cristo Rey Jesuit will continue to lead from the front and we are grateful for those who are inspired by our mission and will join us on this journey.
As a community, we will focus on the valuable roles of service, justice and solidarity. Pope Francis encourages us to follow Christ’s example, and go beyond our comfort zones. We are called to be men and women for others, and in the words and actions of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Go forth and set the world on fire.”
“Act as if everything depended on you; and trust as if everything depended on God.”
Thank you and may God bless the entire Cristo Rey Jesuit High School community.