Cristo Rey Network CEO Rob Birdsell was more equivocal. "I can't speak about the specifics of Philadephia," he told Val, neither confirming nor denying that conversations with the Archdiocese have taken place. But a well-connected Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia) alum familiar with
The Rumor tells me that Bishop Joseph McFadden met with four heavy-hitting North alums last week - among them multimillionaire and philanthropist Peter Hondros - to chat about the school.Also present were others with ties either to the Cristo Rey Network or to the Society of Jesus - the Jesuit order of priests that created the Cristo Rey model. "They even toured North Catholic on November 11," said the source. "To say that nothing has been discussed isn't true." Hondros was unavailable for comment yesterday, so I hoped the Rev. Timothy Lannon could enlighten me about what might've gone down in the meeting. Lannon, the Jesuit president of St. Joseph's University, is a close friend of Hondros' (a loyal St. Joe's grad who funded the university's new autism center).
"Lannon is the most high-profile Jesuit in the area,"said the North alum. "You can bet that if the Jesuits are thinking of bringing Cristo Rey here, [Lannon] knows about it." Lannon said that it was "premature to discuss" whether he even had a conversation with Hondros about Cristo Rey, North Catholic and the bishop. And then he chuckled.