The local province of Augustinian priests will support Cristo Rey High School Philadelphia by assigning three friars as faculty and staff at the Catholic school in North Philadelphia.

The Augustinians join the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (one on staff) and the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (three sisters on staff) as co-endorsers of the school.

As part of the endorsement two Augustinian priests, Father Michael Di Gregorio, prior of St. Thomas of Villanova Province and Father Donald Reilly, Malvern Prep’s head of school, have joined the school’s board of trustees.

“The Augustinians seek to contribute to the continued growth and success of Cristo Rey in transforming the lives of students and families and providing new educational opportunities that enlighten student journeys through high school and beyond,” said Father DiGregorio “As friars called to serve those most in need in a spirit of community, we hope to bring the charism and legacy of our order to communities of many faiths and offer something of ourselves, our spirit and our heritage to Cristo Rey students and families.”

Cristo Rey President John McConnell said, “We are excited by this new partnership because we expect that the Augustinian charism and educational legacy will enhance and enrich our unique mission to be a Catholic school for students of all faiths. In addition, we believe that this partnership will enable new and exciting opportunities for growth of our mission in Philadelphia.”

At a time when enrollment in Catholic schools across the country is shrinking, the Cristo Rey Network of schools is growing rapidly. Enrollment at Cristo Rey Philadelphia has grown to 540 students. For the past two years it has been located at 1717 West Allegheny Avenue, having outgrown the building that formerly had been Holy Child Parish School in North Philadelphia.

Every Cristo Rey Philadelphia graduate since the first class in 2016 has been accepted into a four-year college.

Cristo Rey Philadelphia opened its doors to its first ninth grade class in August 2012. Currently there are 28 teachers and 44 staffers.

Cristo Rey schools offer a unique curriculum that combines academics, extracurricular activities and corporate work experience to prepare students of all faiths for success in college and beyond. The schools are independently operated by a partnership of educators, businesses and universities.

The Cristo Rey Network operates 37 schools nationwide.