Augustinian

St. Rita Students Attend 10th Annual Student Augustinian Values Institute (SAVI)

The inaugural Student Augustinian Values Institute (SAVI) was held at St. Rita High School in 2010. Fast forward to April 5-7, 2019 and six St. Rita sophomores, Emilio Alvarez, Aidan Connolly, Matthew Orta, Jesus Pedroza, Reggie Sykes, and Tristan Wright along with chaperones Mr. Josh Blaszak ‘02 and Br. Joe Ruiz, O.S.A. traveled to St. Augustine Prep School in Richland, N.J. to take part in the 10th annual gathering of students from the ten Augustinian High Schools in North America.

SAVI has grown to a widely known and anticipated annual event. On the 10th Annual SAVI, Ritamen have been getting to know members of their larger Augustinian family, in addition to deepening their knowledge of the Augustinian Core Values of Truth, Unity and Love, They were also able to visit the Old St. Augustine Parish, the foundation of the Augustinians in North America, and the National Shrine of our patroness, St. Rita of Cascia.

The students also took part in presentations on the core values and the Augustinians, small group discussions, prayer, Mass and fun activities including an outing to a Phillies game.

The goal of the weekend is to empower the Ritamen to be stewards in strengthening and enhancing the Augustinian core values once they return to campus at 7740 S. Western Avenue. The St. Rita family looks forward to welcoming these young men back to school on Monday, April 8, 2019, and learning about their experience.


In Memorium: Rev. Gerald J. Van Overbeek, O.S.A. '53

Please join the Augustinians in mourning the loss of Rev. Gerald J. Van Overbeek, O.S.A. who passed away at the age of 84 and was born into eternal life on January 1, 2019.

Funeral arrangements are below:

MONDAY - January 7, 2019

Crown Point, IN
Franciscan Home
203 W Franciscan Dr
Crown Point, IN 46301
Wake: 10:00am
Mass: 11:00 a.m.

Chicago, IL
St. Rita of Cascia High School Chapel
7740 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60620
Wake: 3:00 p.m.
Mass: 7:00 p.m.


TUESDAY - January 8, 2019


Burial: 11:00 a.m. at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, IL

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 Seniors Create "Kids Care"

A trio of St. Rita High School students is reaching out to local families who are battling serious illnesses through a new charity called “Kids Care.”

As part of their school service project, St. Rita seniors-to-be Connor Cahill, Mike Walsh and Jake Zylman founded Kids Care last February, and to raise funds for the Cure It Foundation, a national non-profit that serves children fighting cancer, they hosted the inaugural Kids Care 16-inch softball tournament on July 29 at Beverly Park.

Featuring seven boys teams and three girls teams, the tournament, Cahill said, is on its way to exceeding its goal of $1,000.

Augustinians Honor Standrings

Written by: The Beverly Review

At the St. Rita Shrine Chapel on April 23, John J. (Jay) Standring Jr. and his wife, Julie, were presented with the highest honor that the Augustinian Order can bestow upon an individual: Affiliation of the Faithful to the Augustinian Order, a recognition that makes them official members of the Augustinian Order without professing vows.

The exact definition of Affiliation of the Faithful to the Order according to the Augustinian Constitution is important to know when highlighting how high an honor the recognition is: “The Order has the faculty of affiliating to itself the faithful who merit special recognition because their distinguished cooperation for the good of the Order. By reason of this affiliation they belong to the Augustinian Family and share in all the spiritual benefits of the Order. All the friars, in their heart and actions, are to show their gratitude to all those who are affiliated. Affiliation is granted by the Prior General on his own initiative or upon the request of any community of the Augustinian Family. The certificate of affiliation should be granted with some solemnity. The parents of friars and sisters of solemn vows are considered affiliated to the Order from the very day of solemn profession. The Prior General can grant this affiliation to the parents of the brothers and sisters of aggregated Congregations if the Generals of these Congregations ask for it. If opportune, other expressions of honor or gratitude can also be conferred.”