Events

St. Rita Band Concert Spreads Christmas Cheer

On Monday, December 17, just before the start of final exams, the legendary St. Rita Band performed in the St. Rita Shrine Chapel, before the entire student body. The concert was well-received, with the St. Rita Choir accompanying.

The concert was an interactive event as the students joined in the merry atmosphere by signing some favorite Christmas Carols.

What a great way for our Ritamen to enjoy some family atmosphere and have a little fun, before buckling down for some last-minute studying for finals.

In addition to the concert, our students and faculty have been wearing Christmas sweaters to school for the past week. Check out some of the festive sweaters in the crowd!

St. Rita's Academic Convocation Marks the Beginning of 114th Year

By: Mike Swanson

A convocation is a group of people that comes together, formally assembled for a unique purpose. St. Rita of Cascia High School is a very unique and special institution for many Chicago-area families.

On the morning of Wednesday, August 22, 2018 the St. Rita of Cascia High School community, including parents, gathered in the St. Rita Shrine Chapel for the Annual Academic Convocation that has quickly become a cornerstone ceremony for the members of the St. Rita family. The tone of the day was set by the music which was provided by the legendary St. Rita Band under the direction of Mr. KC Perlberg. The convocation (which marks the official beginning of St. Rita’s 114th academic year) celebrates the school’s academic excellence, ancient and venerable Augustinian heritage and the traditions that developed over the course of the last 113 years the greatest of which is the bond that exists among all Ritamen brothers.

"We are indeed blessed and that is why the theme of this year will be “Thankfulness.” We have been given much and so we must give back much." - Fr. Paul

For this year’s freshmen class, that bond is especially relevant. The 158 freshmen, the Class of 2022, physically signed their names on parchment paper, enrolling them in the sacred “Book of Brotherhood” at St. Rita. After signing, each freshman received from a student government representative his St. Rita chapel tie which is worn each Wednesday for all-school Mass.

The event's master of ceremonies, Dean of Student Leadership Mr. Josh Blaszak '02 introduced three student government leaders, Stedmon Ihejirka, Michael Henze and Liam Ohle who spoke about St. Rita’s core values: Veritas (Truth), Unitas (Unity) and Caritas (Love), respectively.

As the ceremony continued, the crowd heard remarks about St. Rita’s academic excellence and college-preparatory curriculum from Mr. Wes Benak ‘81, Dean of Academics. Mr. Mike Zunica, President, gave remarks about the storied history of St. Rita.

Finally, St. Rita’s Head of School and CEO, Fr. Paul Galetto, O.S.A., Ph.D., gave the crowd an overall “State of the School” address and then took the time to speak directly to the freshmen telling them what is expected of a Ritaman and what the school community has to offer them. At the end of his remarks, Fr. Paul lit the 2018-19 “Lamp of Learning” from the flame of the Easter Candle in the St. Rita Shrine Chapel.

Fr. Paul said, "St. Rita of Cascia High School is a Catholic college-preparatory high school in the Augustinian tradition. The beginning of the academic year is a rite of passage for our freshmen. The Academic Convocation marks this important milestone while teaching new students and families the history and traditions of our school and reminding us all of the unique opportunities that exist here. This is a very exciting time at St. Rita with multiple new construction projects nearing completion and enrollment increasing. The excitement for our future was palpable at the Convocation. People want to be a part of St. Rita. I’m very pleased with the direction our school is headed thanks to our dedicated and talented faculty, staff, parents and students. We are indeed blessed and that is why the theme of this year will be “Thankfulness.” We have been given much and so we must give back much. We must be the example for others to emulate."

After the formal gathering was over, St. Rita parents and students enjoyed a quick reception with light refreshments.

St. Rita’s Academic Convocation is a unique tradition. It’s very important to Ritamen and their families because it is a public statement of all that St. Rita stands for: academic and athletic excellence, student involvement and Catholic, Augustinian affiliation and leadership. The Convocation displays and solidifies St. Rita’s welcoming environment for all to see.

St. Rita's Senior Engineering Class Holds Trebuchet Competition

By: Mike Swanson

A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile. At 7740 S. Western Ave, those projectiles are simply tennis balls, instead of the more dangerous projectiles you might see on the battlefield in centuries long ago. St. Rita High School’s senior engineering class could tell you much more about trebuchets, as they recently built their own from scratch in preparation of the annual trebuchet competition.

The spring weather could not have been more perfect on the afternoon of Thursday, May 10 for the competition on St. Rita’s expansive North Lawn, tucked along stretch of tidy Queen Anne-Style and Georgian houses. Eight teams formed from Matt Petrich’s engineering class gathered for the competition. Several faculty and staff members were also on hand to watch the competition and cheer on the student engineers.

Teams were given one practice shot. After the practice shot they were able to place a small target on the ground anywhere from 30-60 feet from the catapult. Once the target was in place teams tried to hit the target. They were given two more shots. The team coming closest to the small target on one of their tries was to be the winner.

All the students successfully completed their trebuchet projects and competition, and certainly had fun during the process. They even named their trebuchets. In second place was the “TrebuBeast” team formed by Mike Mitchell, Tyler Cichy and Dave Gleaves. The first place team was “iMacBeth” built by Ozzie Gutierrez, Tyler Franco, and Ryan Caufield.

The Class of 2019 is already looking forward to next year's competition!