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RoundUp: Cristo Rey students celebrate college acceptances, Main Line church hits 100, long-time volunteer firefighter honored

About 60 seniors at Cristo Rey recieved at least one instant college acceptance.

Layla Santiago, a senior at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School Senior was admitted to Gywnedd Mercy University and Neumann University during Instant Acceptance Day.
Layla Santiago, a senior at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School Senior was admitted to Gywnedd Mercy University and Neumann University during Instant Acceptance Day.Read moreErika Vogt, Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School

Oct. 18 was Instant College Acceptance Day for about 60 seniors at the new Tioga campus of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School.

The school teamed up with 10 local universities to review students’ applications, ACT scores, and essays and provide on-the-spot acceptance decisions. This was the fifth time the coed independent, Catholic college-preparatory school held the event.

“Many of these students are typically first-generation college attendees,” said Paige Knapp, a Cristo Rey spokesperson. In prior years, the graduating class has had a 100% acceptance rate to a four-year college or university, she said.

About 120 interviews were held and some students received more than one acceptance and an aid package. They have until May 1 to decide which school to attend, Knapp said.

Colleges in attendance were Albright College, Arcadia University, Cabrini University, Chestnut Hill College, Gwynedd Mercy University, Kutztown University, La Salle University, Manor College, Neumann University, and Rosemont College.

Birthday of the century

A Main Line congregation celebrates its 100th year and with a new — and old — partner.

On Nov. 10, Christ Church Ithan in Villanova will be joined by the congregants of St. Martin’s Church in Radnor at a Centennial Celebration Brunch following the Sunday morning service.

Recently the two Episcopal churches, which sit less than two miles from each other, entered into a covenant relationship and will move forward together. Starting in 2020 they will share the same mission and ministry, and one priest will serve both locations.

The two congregations share a common history.

St. Martin’s was founded about 130 years ago. A few years later Christ Church Ithan was created as part of St. Martin’s mission to service the farmers in the southern part of the township. Both locations thrived and by the 1950s were large enough to formally separate into two parishes.

Over the years, the congregations have partnered on a number of initiatives. Most recently these have included a yearly Unity in the Community event in the Highland Avenue neighborhood of Radnor Township with the 2nd Baptist Church of Wayne to develop community ties; a summer reading program with Radnor Police and local youth; and bible study programs, lectures, and shared meals.

70 plus years of volunteering

Lester Baxter has been serving the residents of Chester County for more than 72 years. He was 19 when he helped found — and build — the Martins Corner Fire Company in West Caln Township.

The 89-year-old volunteer was recently honored by the Chester County Commissioners for his service. A Korean War veteran, Baxter built his own home where he raised his family. He also worked two jobs at the Lukens Steel Company and with the Chester County Parks Department all while continuing to volunteer for the fire company.

When Martins Corner folded in 2012, he moved on to Honey Brook Fire Company No. 1. Baxter would often stop into the fire department to catch up with the crew, said Al Beiler, treasurer of Honey Brook.

Recently, an illness has sidelined the long-time volunteer whose last job for the company has been as Fire Police, which assist with traffic and other duties at the scenes of emergencies, including dealing with irate motorists who find their routes disrupted.

“It takes a special breed of person to be yelled at,” Beiler joked.

— Mari Schaefer

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