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.

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!






Junior Ryan Clancy Chasing West Point Dream

Ryan Clancy, from Oak Lawn’s St. Catherine Parish, joined the Celtic Boxing Club in February 2016 and immediately fell in love with the sport.  At the time, he was playing both football and baseball at St. Rita, but ultimately he made the decision to focus solely on boxing.

Recently, Congressman Dan Lipinski visited the Celtic Boxing Club to discuss the admission process for U.S. Military Academies.

Clancy first started to think about West Point when he boxed on a card featuring the Army West Point Boxing Team.  That prompted a conversation between Clancy and their coach furthering his interest in attending West Point.

He decided to apply to West Point’s high school summer camp program and was accepted.  The camp runs for one week in the summer and provides a full West Point student experience for the campers.  This is the first step towards admission to the Military Academy.

The application to the summer camp focused on leadership, grades, athletics, and community involvement.  Clancy, who holds a 4.39/4.00 GPA and scored a 30 on his ACT, easily met the academic requirements and his past experiences playing football and baseball at St. Rita as well as his involvement in his community made him a prime candidate.

When Clancy isn’t spending his time training at the Celtic Boxing Club, he also stays involved in activities outside the classroom at St. Rita, such as the School Culture Committee and the Social Justice Club.


St. Rita to Celebrate National Foreign Language Week All Week

National Foreign Language week is being celebrated the week of March 5 at Saint Rita.  Each day, students will have the opportunity to participate in scavenger hunts, trivia and international lunches. Pulseras (hand woven bracelets) from Nicaragua will be sold at lunch as well.


On Tuesday after school, the Spanish, Latin and French Clubs will host a movie and pizza.  During Wednesday's all-school Mass, songs and readings will be presented in Spanish, Latin and French.

Students are also encouraged to participate in the poster contest which is for this year's theme "Languages lead us on a path to understanding other cultures". 

Finally, on Thursday of this week, there will be the annual student Expo in the Van Leuven Center with interactive projects created by students as well as food samples from around the world.  The World Languages Department is looking forward to an exciting week celebrating the three languages offered at Saint Rita.