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.

March Mustangs of the Month

Each month St. Rita of Cascia High School honors one student from each class to be the Mustang of the Month.  In order for a student to be considered for the Mustang of the Month Award he must excel or stand out in at least two of the following areas: academics, activities, athletics, spirituality or community service projects or programs.  Nominees for Mustang of the Month are those students who are vital elements to what St. Rita of Cascia High School is all about and whose efforts, accomplishments and contributions to our community sometimes go unnoticed.

Nominations are open to all faculty and staff and final selection is determined by members of Administration and Student Life & Ministry.

Senior Mustang of the Month – Liam Daly

The member of the Class of 2019 selected to be our March Mustang of the Month is Liam Daly.  Liam is a graduate of St. John Fisher School and is also a member of St. John Fisher Parish.

During his time at St. Rita, Liam has been a member of the Spanish Club, The Natir, Big Brothers and the Varsity Golf Team.  This past year for his Caritas Project he held a very successful Teacher Appreciation Drive.  Outside of his time at St. Rita Liam is a caddy at Beverly Country Club and tutors two children several days a week.  Liam has been a Heeney Award Recipient, was named an Illinois State Scholars and most recently was awarded the Chick Evans Scholarship.  He will be attending the University of Minnesota majoring in Economics and Political Science.

One teacher said of Liam, “Liam is a caring, hard-working, respectful and respectable student.  He always represents himself and St. Rita with great regard.  Liam quietly leads by his example in the classroom, the hallway and in the community.”

Speaking about his experience as a Ritaman, Liam said, “St. Rita has become like my second home, the connections I have made with teachers and friends will be ones that last a lifetime.  It is truly a special place and while I am excited for the future I am sad to be leaving my second home.  I love my St. Rita brothers and will truly miss seeing them every day.”

Junior Mustang of the Month – Dalen Horace

Representing the Class of 2020 as our March Mustang of the Month is Dalen Horace.  Dalen comes to us from St. Paul Lutheran School and is a member of the Victory Cathedral faith community.

Dalen is a St. Rita Big Brother and a member of the Band and Jazz Band.  He is currently working toward membership in the St. Rita Chapter of the National Honor Society.  Outside of St. Rita Dalen occasionally plays his trumpet at his grade school as well as at church on Sundays.  In the future he hopes to make All-State for the Band and maybe play a varsity sport.  He also plans to continue working hard toward gaining scholarships for college, possibly even going for free.

In his nomination the following was said of Dalen, “Dalen is reliable.  He is respectful and talented as well. His diverse set of interests and activities is emblematic of the Rita spirit.  In each of his endeavors, academically, athletically and musically, he shows talent and dedication.”

Dalen spoke of his experience as a Ritaman by saying, “It’s been a great experience and I’m excited for more things to come in my senior year.  I’ve cherished all the memories I have made with all of my Rita brothers.”

Sophomore Mustang of the Month – Gabe Arteaga

Representing the Class of 2021 as our March Mustang of the Month is Gabe Arteaga.  Gabe graduated from Mount Greenwood Elementary School and is a member of Queen of Martyrs Parish.

Gabe is a member of the St. Rita Varsity Hockey team and is currently playing on the JV Lacrosse team.  In the future he hopes to become a Big Brother.  Outside of St. Rita Gabe helps out at his sister’s hockey practices.

The following was said of Gabe, “Gabe is a hard working student and is always willing to participate in class.  He always comes to class with a smile on his face.  He pays close attention to detail and is a positive influence on his peers.”

When asked to speak about his experience as a Ritaman, he replied, “I have had a lot of fun in my time here at St. Rita.  I have made a ton of new friends and am enjoying my time.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

Freshman Mustang of the Month – Josh Carroll

The member of the Class of 2022 chosen to be our March Mustang of the Month is Josh Carroll.  Josh comes to us from St. Joseph School in Downers Grove where he is also a member of the St. Joseph Parish community.

Josh is a member our satirical newspaper The Natir, the St. Rita Social Justice Club and recently made the St. Rita Freshman Baseball Team.  Outside of his time at St. Rita he plays baseball for Top Tier as well.  In the future he hopes to become a St. Rita Big Brother and has served his peers this past year as a Student Government Ambassador.  In the past Josh received a Navy Award for his state science fair project.

One member of our St. Rita faculty said, “Josh can be relied upon to offer thoughtful commentaries on issues presented in class.  He has empathy for others that other students could take an example from.”

When asked about his experience as a Ritaman, Josh replied, “I have made many friends and I am very glad that I chose to come to St. Rita.  I hope that the rest of my time at St. Rita will continue to be just as amazing as it is now.”

Ritamen Enjoy Action-Packed New Mexico Minimester

Day three for the New Mexico Minimester was a success. Since arriving on Monday, March 11, Ritamen have visited Meow Wolf (a popular interactive art experience), celebrated Holy Mass at El Santuario de Chimayo, gone white water rafting and have been building brotherhood.

On Wednesday, March 13, the New Mexico Minimester group traveled the streets of Santa Fe competing against each other in a scavenger hunt, learning facts about our nations oldest capital city. They then went on to visit the capital building where they were able to witness part of the state senate in session and visit the office of the New Mexico Lieutenant Governor who is a friend of  Fr. Ray Flores, O.S.A. The Mustangs also were able to see the Miraculous Staircase at The Loretto Chapel.

St. Rita Celebrates National Foreign Languages Week

The week of March 4 was a time of celebration and learning at St. Rita High School as students and faculty alike joined schools across the country recognizing National Foreign Language Week with several special events.

First the entire on campus St. Rita community was present for a multi-lingual Mass celebrated by head of school, Fr. Paul Galetto, O.S.A., Ph.D.

Not only did St. Rita celebrate languages themselves, they also learned about different cultures and traditions from countries all over the world. Each day, a variety of activities were available for all students.

International dishes were available during lunch periods in the St. Rita Dining Hall, and Ritamen voted on their favorite.

During all lunches last week Ritamen sold and bought bracelets and purses for their family members and friends made through The Pulsera Project, a fair trade project that supports young artists in Central America.

Also, there was a fun, international-travel-based, faculty trivia contest during lunches periods.

Students learned about other cultures thru a creative campus-wide scavenger hunt, complete with QR codes to access the clues.

On Friday, St. Rita celebrated with a Foreign Language Expo, including live entertainment, activities and food tastings, during G and F periods in the Van Leuven Family Research Center and McCarthy Student Center on campus.

The foreign language department truly does a great job of uniquely engaging students to learn more about other cultures as they continue to help Ritamen hone their skills in all the foreign language classes available at St. Rita.