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Verbum Dei High School Announces Transition from a Los Angeles Archdiocese School to a Private Jesuit School

·3-min read

WATTS, Calif., July 01, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Directors of Verbum Dei High School is pleased to announce the school will transition from a Los Angeles Archdiocesan school to a fully-sponsored Jesuit school, effective July 1, 2022. Led by its President, Fr. Travis Russell, S.J., the Catholic boys’ high school is acclaimed for providing its students a rigorous college and career prep curriculum since 1962.

"This year, Verbum Dei celebrates an exciting milestone – the 60th anniversary of its founding," said Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., provincial of the Jesuits West Province. "And as the school enters its seventh decade, there is more good news: On July 1, Verbum Dei adds ‘Jesuit’ to its name. I would like to thank the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and, in particular, Archbishop José Gomez, not only for partnering with the Jesuits, but for entrusting this special apostolate to our care. We are so proud of our outstanding Verb students, families, faculty and staff, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration with the Verbum Dei community."

As the school transitions, Verbum Dei Jesuit High School is focused on aligning its mission with the broader Jesuit mission of preparing young men for college and beyond by delivering a rigorous academic education and, at the same time, inspiring students to embrace spirituality, service and leadership. Plans call for expanding academic programs and increasing enrollment to serve more students, strengthening the impact the school has on the community it serves. Verbum Dei Jesuit will continue to be part of the Cristo Rey Network of schools and maintain its work-study program, which prepares students for the future of work.

"This transition is a significant step in enhancing and expanding Verbum Dei’s mission to provide a best-in-class college preparatory education along with unique and invaluable work-study opportunities to young men from the South Los Angeles community," said Joseph T. Viola, Chairman of Verbum Dei High School’s Board of Directors.

About Verbum Dei High School

Verbum Dei Jesuit is a Catholic college preparatory school that is part of the Cristo Rey Network. Based in Watts, CA, it offers young men from supportive families with limited resources a college prep curriculum, corporate work experience, and faith formation that prepares them to graduate from college and become professionals that will lead lives of purpose and meaning. Additional information about Verbum Dei High School can be found on its website at

About the Cristo Rey Network

The Cristo Rey Network of 38 high schools delivers a career focused, college preparatory education in the Catholic tradition to more than 12,000 students with limited economic resources, uniquely integrating rigorous academic curricula with four years of professional work experience and support to and through college. Cristo Rey partners with educators, businesses and communities to enable students to fulfill their aspirations for a lifetime of success. Students who graduate from Cristo Rey schools are more than twice as likely to complete a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to the total U.S. low-income population.

Notes to Editors:

  • Nature of the school: all-male, Jesuit, college prep high school

  • Year of inception: 1962

  • Current enrollment: 322 students

  • Religious composition: 80% Catholic, 14% Christian, 6% Other

  • Ethnic composition: 74% Hispanic, 22% African American, 3% Other

  • Number of faculty: 27

  • Students attend four-year colleges such as Stanford, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, among others

  • College acceptance for graduating Class of 2022:

    • Total Students: 86

    • 93% acceptance rate to four-year colleges

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Bill Mendel
Mendel Communications
(212) 397-1030

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