A little more than six months after students at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep moved into their state-of-the-art school, Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, arrived to celebrate Mass and dedicate the new building.

L to R: Fr. John Milton, Bishop George Rassas, Fr. Mike Nacius (Pastor of Church of St. Mary, Lake Forest),Cardinal Blase Cupich, Deacon Tom Biegel (also the school’s IT director), and four student servers.

He arrived Sept. 14 to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit, traditionally held at the beginning of the school year, in time for students to give thanks and seek guidance for the new school year.

Concelebrating with him were Bishop George Rassas, who led a group that started the school, and Fr. John Milton, CSV, who represented the Viatorians, who have been a sponsoring community since the school opened in 2004.

“The Mass with the Cardinal was beautiful,” said Mr. Jim Dippold, campus minister, “but having Fr. Milton with us was really nice. He is our Viatorian presence!”

Working with Cristo Rey St. Martin students keeps Fr. Milton ever young

Cardinal Cupich celebrated Mass on a stage set up in the school’s main hallway and right in front of its science labs, which Fr. Milton — a former physics teacher and current science consultant — enjoyed.

“Find the Holy Spirit,” Cardinal Cupich told students, “each day in the people who care for you at home, and in your friends and teachers at school.”

The Cardinal blessed a new bronze statue of the school’s namesake, St. Martin de Porres

Following Mass, the school unveiled a bronze sculpture by artist Dora Natella — presently on faculty at Indiana University — of St. Martin de Porres, the school’s patron saint.  The sculpture stands in the lobby of the school, greeting all who enter.

“St. Martin de Porres is a model of a selfless person for others, who was rejected for being mixed-race, but who persisted in loving others even in the face of hate,” President Preston Kendall said. “May the spirit of St. Martin be ever present here, to remind us that love conquers hate and that we are all called to empty ourselves in service to others with humility and faith.”