The St. Rita Family Unites with Giving Tree Initiative

As Catholics, we are called to love Christ above all. But how do we show our love for Christ? In Hebrews 6:10, we are taught “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones”. God tells us that through serving, loving, and tending to others, we are serving and loving Him.

Giving Tree Leaders: Ms. Missy Smialek, Eddie Fidler, Isaac Gaytan-Reilly, Dylan Cooney and Diego Carrillo (Not pictured: Jack Esselman & Tadhg Scanlon)

It has been a tradition here St. Rita for the last several years to have our Giving Tree Initiative in the month of December—2018 was no different. The Giving Tree helps Ritamen show that the core values of Caritas and Unitas are not just slogans, but things that St. Rita students strive to live out, especially during the holiday season.

Each year, through the Giving Tree, several St. Rita families are given donations by the St. Rita school community to help offset the ever-rising costs of the Christmas season through food and gift donations.

Hebrews 13:16 teaches “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.” Ritamen were encouraged to make the sacrifice of sharing what they have in an effort to love others who are in need and therefore, love God. Some were able to give more than others, but all were encouraged to look into their own lives and determine where a sacrifice could be made. For instance, some sacrificed vending machine snacks and donated that money, others brought lunch from home and donated lunch money.

In the end, so many Ritamen put money toward those in our St. Rita family who are struggling. The St. Rita community ultimately raised $4,882.85 and helped ten families this Christmas.

St. Rita High School Donates Over $1,200 to SXU’s Veteran Memorial Fund

SXU SVA President Dan McLaughlin '09 and St. Rita President Mike Zunica (Hon)

SXU SVA President Dan McLaughlin '09 and St. Rita President Mike Zunica (Hon)

Saint Xavier University’s (SXU) Student Veteran Alliance (SVA) recently received a donation from St. Rita High School for their veteran memorial, which is planned to be stationed on (SXU's) campus near Lake Marion. SXU’s SVA has always been a community-based organization, where members give back and bring awareness to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

That said, SXU’s SVA President Daniel McLaughlin (a 2009 St. Rita graudate) reached out to his high school alma mater to share what the veteran organization has been involved in throughout the academic year. Impressed by their efforts, St. Rita High School held a dress-down day to help support a portion of the funding for the veteran memorial. 

Cook County Farm Bureau Presents St. Rita Students With Plaque

Pictured: L to R: Brian Murphy '17 (St. John Fisher),  Nino Rizzi '17 (Infant Jesus of Prague), Charlie Coughlin '18 (Christ the King), Orlando Rojas '17 (St. Benedict), Victor Martinez '18 (St. Barnabas), Diane Merrion. Not Pictured: Nick Durham '17 (Central Jr. High)

On Monday, Feb 13, Dianne Merrion from the Cook County Farm Bureau visited St. Rita student members of the Ronald McDonald House Teen Board with a plaque in appreciation of St. Rita's donation of 977 pounds of food and household items collected during a St. Rita Spirit Day on Thursday, Feb. 2.

St. Rita Kicks Off Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive

On Wednesday November 9th St. Rita kicked off its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to assist food pantries of Visitation/St. Basil and St. Rita Parishes as well as Angel’s Touch, an organization run by our very own Pat Mitchell to assist families in need during the holiday season.

The Food Drive, which is run by the Junior Class Officers, will run through Friday November 18th with the school setting a goal of 4,000 non-perishable food items. There will be competitions amongst the classrooms with the winning classroom receiving a Spirit Day along with a hot breakfast. Second and third place classrooms will receive juice and donuts.

On Thursday, November 17th the junior class will sponsor a Spirit Day for all students and faculty. Any student or faculty member who brings in three non-perishable food items on the 17th will be allowed to dress down for the day.

In conjunction with the Food Drive, the Knights of Augustine will be joining in a national movement and will be sponsoring Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at St. Rita. Hunger and Homelessness Week is held each year nationally the week prior to Thanksgiving with the purpose of bringing awareness to the ever-growing problem of homelessness around the country. The Knights of Augustine will be making daily announcements to the student body to bring more awareness to this problem especially in and around our local communities.