Once again, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep opened its campus this month to help minimize the effects of the pandemic.

Members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe, who work along side Viatorians at the Province Center, check into the vaccine clinic. (Photos  by John Geis)

This time, the school partnered with a  local Jewel-Osco Pharmacy to provide a vaccination clinic for elderly and frontline workers in the Waukegan community. They administered first doses on Feb. 11 and again on Feb. 16, with second doses to be given on March 4 and 9.

Included in that pool of patients were retired Viatorians living at the Province Center and members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe sisters.

Br. John Eustice, left, helps to check in people at the clinic.

Jim Dippold, campus minister and one of the organizers, did the numbers: 65 volunteers, more than 305 hours volunteered, 1,200 vaccinations given — and countless lives changed.

Coach Edmonds prepares to receive the vaccine.

“It all added up to an amazing day,” he said, “that makes St. Martin and all of us proud.”

Preston Kendall, left, works along side volunteers in checking people in.

Just one week earlier, the school transformed its large parking lot into a mobile food distribution site.

For that outreach, CRSM partnered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, and drew nearly 100 volunteers — including students, faculty and staff — who served more than 1,000 area families. It was the first of six planned this semester.

CRSM partnered with Jewel-Osco to hold the clinic and vaccinate 1,500 people.

Preston Kendall, President of Cristo Rey St. Martin, says that in searching for a permanent home for the school, they dreamed of a facility that would not only meet the school’s needs but would have the potential to become a rich resource for the entire community.

“We are a faith-based school, and an important aspect of our mission is to encourage students to explore their own faith traditions and beliefs, and most importantly, to think about how they are living out their beliefs on a daily basis,” Kendall says.

“We want them to put their faith into action,” he adds. “It’s the only way we will make the world a better place. Our school strives to model these values by leveraging the campus for our collective, greater good.”