In The News

Doyle Stadium Rededication!

DSC_7322 A packed house and picture-perfect weather framed the night for the re-dedication of St. Rita High School’s Doyle Stadium on the South Side of Chicago at 77th and Western Avenue on Friday, September 26th.

Over 30 Augustinian Friars attended St. Rita’s homecoming football game vs. Providence Catholic High School.  The Friars, along with Larry Doyle and family, St. Rita President Ernie Mrozek, and representatives from all St. Rita’s sports teams and clubs participated in the re-dedication of Doyle Stadium, including a pre-game Holy Water Blessing of the new turf field.

Eleven years ago, St. Rita High School was the first Chicago-area high school to install a new-generation turf field.  This year, with the help of generous donors, they become the first Chicago-area high school to replace the field with the same updated turf that the Indianapolis Colts use on their home field.

St. Rita Writing Workshop Prepares Seniors for College

Early Monday morning, an hour before school, on September 22, 16 seniors attended a college writing seminar hosted by guidance counselor Brian Hagen. Mr. Hagen says the workshop gives the students an understanding of the different essay formats they may see on college applications, and helps them prepare ideas about how to start the process.  The workshop also teaches students the basic "dos" and "don'ts" with college essays, and opens up lines of communication so they know St. Rita High School guidance counselors are here to help them through the process.

When asked how he motivates students to get up early and arrive at school before classes, Mr. Hagen points out how self-motivated St. Rita High School seniors are.  He adds, "If you are able to speak with students to identify a shared need many of them have, they are willing to come get the extra help at any time.  College essays are very daunting for most seniors; therefore, offering any kind of support is motivation in itself to help the students create the best essay, and let them know that the faculty and staff are here to support them through the process."

6th Annual Jim O'Neill Scholarship Fund "Day at the Races" - Nov. 1st

Jim_O'Neill_Day_at_the_Races._11.1.14_Page_1 Please mark your calendar for Saturday, November 1st, 2014 for the 6th Annual Jim O'Neill Scholarship Fund "Day at the Races" during the Breeder's Cup.  The event starts at 1:00 PM in the Turf Room at Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 South Laramie Avenue in Cicero.

Jim was a 1966 graduate and a longtime friend of St. Rita High School.  All the proceeds from this great event go directly to the Jim O'Neill Scholarship Fund established at the school to help those needy families with tuition assistance and financial aid.  During the 2013-2014 academic year, St. Rita distributed over $ 1.4 million in tuition assistance and financial aid and the demand has not subsided.  Every dollar raised through this event goes to help a family maintain their dream of a single-sex Catholic education for their son.

Please see the flyer for information to purchase tickets.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.


St. Rita Students' ACT Scores Soaring!

College admission gets tougher every year for prospective students as the number of applicants continues to increase at select colleges and universities throughout the country.  This, along with rising tuition costs, has put a premium on college admission tests such as the ACT.  The ACT is an important factor not only in admission to these select colleges and universities, but also in securing necessary financial aid to offset skyrocketing tuition costs. With that being said, the St. Rita of Cascia High School Class of 2014 secured 15.3 million dollars in college assistance (mostly academic) based on their performance as a class on the ACT.  Additionally, almost half the entire Class of 2015 (48%), who takes at least two honors level courses, scored an average of 29 on the ACT, while almost three out of four (74%) in the class who had taken at least one honors level course scored an average of 25.  These impressive numbers are proof of the high level of teaching and learning that goes on every day at St. Rita.  It also speaks to our belief at St. Rita that students who continue to challenge themselves every day and seek the most rigorous class schedule available to them benefit greatly in the end.


St. Rita High School Honors Information Night

St. Rita High School will host an Honors Information Night on September 24, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.  7th and 8th grade families are invited to learn about academic opportunities at St. Rita with Principal Brendan Conroy and members of the St. Rita Administration.  Mr. Conroy will speak about the experience from placement into freshmen classes through the college application process and graduation.  You will also learn about our Freshman 1:1 iPad Program.  Current students and alumni will speak about their St. Rita experience and how their education prepared them for success in college and beyond. For more information and to RSVP to this event, contact Mr. Ed Leiser '04, Director of Admissions at (773) 925-RITA or


Father Brecht Enters Eternal Life

David L. Brecht, OSA died in the late afternoon of September 6, 2014.  He was 75. He had been battling a leukemia-like condition called myelodysplasis since 2012.  His bone marrow did not make enough healthy blood cells.  The blood cells did not mature into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. The immature blood cells did not function normally and either died in the bone marrow or soon after they entered the blood.

David underwent chemotherapy treatments. A series of blood transfusions gave him some relief, but the transfusions had become increasingly less effective.

As he grew weaker, he made the decision at the end of the 2013-2014 school year to retire from teaching and campus ministry at Austin Catholic Academy, Ray, Michigan.

Early Life, Formation, and Education

David was born on October 17, 1938, in Detroit, Michigan, to John Lloyd and Mary Brecht.  He met the Augustinians when he attended Austin Catholic High School in Detroit.  He entered the Augustinian Order as a Novice on September 8, 1956 and professed his first vows on September 10, 1957.  He professed his solemn vows exactly three years later in 1957.

Father Brecht holds two academic degrees from Villanova University including a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Classical Languages.  He later earned a Diploma in Counseling from Salesian University in Rome.  He attended Loyola University Chicago where he also earned a Master of Education and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration.  Amidst his studies, he was ordained to the priesthood on February 6, 1965.

Education Ministry through 1990

After ordination, Father Brecht was first assigned to Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago as a teacher and chaplain.  In 1967, he was assigned to Tolentine College in Olympia Fields, Illinois, where he served as sub-master of the professed, an academic dean, and a teacher.

In 1973, the same year in which Father Brecht completed his doctorate, he began teaching at Villanova University in Philadelphia and also held administrative positions there.  He was later assigned to serve as Principal of St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago from 1979 to 1983.  During this time, he also served as a member of the Provincial Council.  In 1983, he was named Superintendent of Augustinian Schools and Prior of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery in Olympia Fields.  In 1985, Father Brecht was appointed Headmaster of Cascia Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While at Cascia Hall, Fr. Brecht was responsible for the school becoming co-educational and establishing a grade 6-12 education program.

Three Terms as Prior Provincial

In 1991, Father Brecht was elected Prior Provincial, the leader of the Midwest Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel.  As Provincial, Father Brecht launched the Augustinians' Journey of a Lifetime capital campaign to benefit the needs of the the retiring Augustinians.  He served as Provincial for two terms until 1999, when he was assigned as the associate pastor of St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, Illinois.  He returned to Tulsa as a teacher at Cascia Hall in 2001.

In 2002, Father Brecht was again elected as Prior Provincial; he is only one of two Augustinians to serve as Prior Provincial for the Midwest Province for three terms.  At the end of his term in 2006, he was named Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.  He later served as the chaplain of Villanova College in King City, Ontario, during the 2009-2010 school year.  In 2010, he returned to St. Clare of Montefalco Parish as Pastor and also served as the Headmaster of Austin Catholic Academy, a new Catholic secondary school in Ray, Michigan.

Named an "Outstanding Educator of America" in 1972, Father Brecht was cited for his contributions to the advancement of higher education and service to the community.  He was inducted into the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 1980 "in recognition of service to all people regardless of race or faith."  Periods of archaeological research on Roman ruins in Tunisia and Algeria, where St. Augustine lived and ministered in the fourth and fifth centuries, gave Father Brecht material for numerous lectures, published papers, and a short documentary on the life and times of Augustine.  Additionally, Father Brecht has published several articles on educational themes and served on many educational commissions and task forces.  Father Brecht was recognized as an honoree for the Augustinian Gala in 2014.


Thursday, September 11th: Wake 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm St. Clare of Montefalco Parish 1401 Whittier Rd. Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

Funeral Mass at 6:00 pm, followed by a reception in the Church Hall. Friday, September 12th: Burial at Augustinian Plot Mount Olivet Cemetery 17100 Van Dyke Ave. Detroit, MI 48234 Saturday, September 13th: Memorial Mass at St. Rita Chapel, 10:00 am Cascia Hall 2520 S. Yorktown Ave. Tulsa, OK 74114-2803

Saturday, September 20th: Memorial Mass at St. Rita Shrine Chapel, 10:00 am. St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel 7740 S. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60620


Doyle Stadium's Re-surfacing Continues On Schedule!

The first pice of turf has been placed on the perfectly-prepared surface of Doyle Stadium.  Thanks to the efforts of skilled workers, the project continues on schedule.  Soon St. Rita's red and blue will be on display for the upcoming season, as the Mustangs seek their third Illinois high school state championship.  Stay tuned to the website and follow us on Facebook for continued updates on the project. newturf

Re-surfacing of Doyle Stadium has begun!

Work crews are hard at work on the long-awaited re-surfacing of Doyle Stadium. Crews are taking advantage of the dry weather to remove the old surface, prepare the underlayment before laying down the new surface. If all goes according to plan, the field will be ready for opening day of fall camp where the Mustangs begin their quest for the third Illinois high school state championship. Stay tuned to the website and follow us on Facebook for periodic updates on the progress of the project.Doyle Stadium #1

Attention Juniors! Order Your Class Rings!

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St. Rita is happy to again work with Herff Jones Ring Company in Oak Lawn to order Class Rings. Rings are available for purchase in the Junior or Senior Year. Ring payment dates are: November 6, 2013, December 4, 2013, January 22, 2014, and February, 6, 2014.

The Junior Class Mass is February 6, 2014.

For questions please contact Jim Cranley, Herff

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Jones Representative, at (708) 425-0130 or Families may also contact Ms. Yanez at St. Rita by emailing her at

Herff Jones, 6305 W 95th St, #1w, Oak

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Ray Keane'14 Thanks Donors at Annual President's Club Reception


_DSC0368Each year, St. Rita of Cascia High School honors the donors who support the school with generous gifts that ensure scholarships and financial aid, as well as the facilities that serve the community. At their annual reception on October 10, 2013, Ray Keane'14 spoke to the group about the opportunities he has had at St. Rita because of their generosity. Ray is the son of Raymond'79 and Donna Keane of Orland Park.  A member of the wrestling and baseball teams, as well as a Kairos leader, Ray embodies what it means to be a true Ritaman.  His remarks, in full, are below.



Good evening Mr. Mrozek, Mr. O’Neill, Fr. Tom, the Augustinian Community of St. Rita, benefactors, board members, and friends of St. Rita. My name is Ray Keane, class of 2014. On behalf of the entire St. Rita community, I welcome you to this President’s Dinner. All of you are here tonight because of your generous donations made to the school. We would like to honor you and show our appreciation for these wonderful gifts. I personally want to thank you for all these donations. It has a great impact on my life. Let me tell you my story, but before I do, I want to thank my mother Donna Keane, and sister Renee Keane for being in attendance. I’d like to also thank my father Raymond Keane, who could not attend tonight, but is with us in spirit.

In 2010, my father, Raymond Keane, who is a 1979 Rita alumni, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS. However, he had been experiencing symptoms going back to 2007. It started with the loss of strength in his right arm and quickly spread to his entire body. Over the past five years, his salary as a respected attorney has been cut in half, due to his inability to attend court. Today, he is 100% incapable to move independently and relies on the help of my family and me to assist his needs. Now why is this relevant to this dinner? In no way am I looking for a sob story. These are simply the harsh facts of my current situation. The reason I bring this up is to demonstrate how much of a family the St. Rita community has been to my family and me in our time of need. With the donations given by generous people like all of you, St Rita was able to assist my parents financially to help pay for my tuition. If this hadn’t occurred, I would have to transfer to another school. When I arrived at St. Rita I had not known if I made the right choice. I was the only kid from my grade school of 850 in Orland Park to attend Rita. In fact, I was expecting to attend Carl Sandburg high school my entire life. One day, while driving home from my grand parent’s house in the city with my dad and brother, I noticed we were near where I thought St. Rita was located. I had seen an ad in the paper for their open house, and realized it was occurring at that moment. I decided to ask my dad to stop there, just to check it out. I mean, my father went there, so I figured I could just see what the school looked like. As we entered, I noticed a sense of school spirit that I had not experienced before. Everything was covered in Rita logos, and Mustangs pictures. It was a cool site to see. After walking into the gym, I made my way to the wrestling table, as I aspired to wrestle in high school. This was when I met my coach Dan Manzella. To be honest, he is the one who got me to want to attend St. Rita, right then and there. He was a down to earth guy, who was passionate about wrestling, but even more so about the school. He made us feel important, taking us for a tour of the wrestling room and school. He was very genuine in what he said. That’s something I never experienced from a high school coach. I knew St. Rita was different, and now I was strongly considering attending. When I got home, I was excited to tell my mom the news. When I pulled out the pamphlets and said I’m considering St. Rita, she said very quickly, “No, I won’t send you to a place like that.” You see, my mother had preconceived ideas that Rita might be a misogynistic environment. She couldn’t understand how I’d be able to work in the business world with females, if I attended an all-male school. Boy did her opinion change fast. Just like me, she was nearly sold on Rita after seeing the school and realizing how caring everyone is. She said she felt a vibe here that she couldn’t describe. I think she also liked the fact I would have no excuse not to attend church. When we got home, she told me I could go where ever I wanted. In my mind I knew, Rita was the choice. So on the first day of school, I was at 77th and Western. My career at St. Rita had begun. The first day of school was very intimidating. I knew no. Yet, I was accepted for who I was as a person. I never felt alone or by myself. Even though I didn’t technically know anybody, everyone was still friendly enough to treat me with respect. To be honest, friends were made easily, because of the friendly environment that is present here. As a matter of fact, I met one of my best friends while at St. Rita, Ryan Barr. Now who would have thought one kid from Orland Park and another from Blue Island would become best friends? I honestly had never heard of Blue Island, and had no idea where it was located. Even with our differences, Ryan and I clicked the instant we started talking in our Honors Biology class. To this day we talk everyday. The reason our friendship is different is that we can talk about anything. I owe a lot to Ryan for putting up with some of my craziness. He is always there for me if I need to talk about the struggles at home, or just need to take my mind off things. Our friendship is something I will always treasure, and it would not have happened if not for St. Rita.

A big change for me that I noticed was how caring and relatable the teachers and staff were. In junior high, the feeling was that teachers wanted to just teach and leave. At Rita, teachers I’ve had like Mrs. Dion and Mr. Partacz genuinely cared for my wellbeing, both in school and out. Even the little things of asking me “how are you doing Ray”, or “how’s your dad feeling”, is something I can’t really describe. The love and concern they and everyone has shown me is remarkable. That’s something I would have never expected. The entire staff here truly loves their jobs, but more importantly, truly cares for the students. You can’t get that just anywhere. Rita really is a tight knit family. I also appreciate all the help from teachers who have assisted me with my academics. I have stayed on top of my grades, receiving gold and silver honors every semester and currently ranked in the top 15 percent in my class. I owe this not only to my personal hard work, but the immense help from the St. Rita staff. Approaching teachers to ask questions is not an intimidating thing at all. They are all down to earth and would be happy to help. I can’t say enough about the staff and academics here at St. Rita.

Another aspect of St. Rita that has been helpful to me is the faith community. As I have gotten older, my faith has grown stronger. I owe this to the strong faith shown at St. Rita. Over the past year, I have gotten a lot more involved in Campus Ministry. Just this year, I led Kairos 113, which is a retreat for seniors. It was an unbelievable experience as I was able to more openly share the issues that have occurred at home. The overall friendly environment helps relieve stress and allows you to be yourself during school. Daily conversations with Mr. Blazack, our Campus Minister,  cracking jokes at one another or just discussing life, has helped me get my mind off some of the negative things in my life. The faith community here has just been terrific. And as I mentioned before, I know my mom loves that I am actually going to mass now. You can thank Rita for that mom.

Athletically, I have wrestled and played baseball every year. The head varsity baseball coach, and Athletic Director Coach Mike Zunica, has pushed me on and off the field. The same goes for the varsity wrestling coach, Coach Dan Manzella. Both men have taught me how to be a better man. They both stayed true to what  they promised me way back during that open house. Both had said that I will enter a boy and leave a man. I believe this to be true. These coaches have had an immense impact on my life, showing me how to be a better human being. I can specifically recall how Coach Manzella has taught me that family comes first. Usually, he is the type of coach that never allows practices to be missed. Yet, I remember one November day in my junior year when my mom texted me saying I needed to come home now. My grandmother had just passed away. I was hesitant to ask coach to leave, thinking he’d say no. On the other hand, he looked at me and said, “go take care of your family. That’s the important thing in life.” He taught me right then and there that life is bigger then just sports, or school work. It’s about being there for your loved ones. These lessons are something I will always treasure, and I thank both Coach Zunica and Coach Manzella for helping me buy in to their programs, and St. Rita as a whole.  

Now for something that isn’t 100 % known, my future. While I can’t look into a glass ball and see where I’ll be in 5 years, I can make goals that help me strive for success. After graduating St. Rita, I hope to attend a major university, looking to major in business economics. With this degree, I plan on taking the LSAT, attending Law School, and passing the BAR Exam in order to receive my law license. From here I hope to practice law, and eventually open my own firm. Now I realize these are pretty lofty dreams to have. But I can honestly say this doesn’t bother or intimidate me. Reason being I know how to succeed in this world from the morals and ideals I’ve been taught during my time at St. Rita.  This is something you don’t get everywhere. How many schools have the family environment where a student can walk down the hall and the principal will know their name by heart? Or where you can find a school where over 90% of the student enrollment is involved in extracurricular activities? There is no environment like St. Rita. I know this was the right place for me. And I thank you for you donations that allowed me to stay enrolled here. In no way have I taken this opportunity for granted, as I have made the most out of every opportunity that has crossed my way. I realize I am unable to pay any of you back for those remarkable donations. So for the past four years, I have tried to pay you, not in money, but in hard work and dedication, to show that not a penny of your donation has gone to waste. Once again, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you and God bless.


Conquering the Challenges of College Costs: A Presentation by Frank Palmasani, author of “Right College, Right Price”


DSC_1961Conquering the Challenges of College Costs:  Right College, Right Price

Tuesday, October 15th, at 7:00 pm in the St. Rita Auditorium.

Given that college costs continue to be viewed as a national concern and given the most recent changes in the student loan program, you will not want to miss this year’s presentation by Frank Palmasani, author of “Right College, Right Price” and the creator of the financial fit program. The presentation will combine a power point presentation, examples of actual net cost scenarios, and a dynamic website to demonstrate how every family can afford college without excessive borrowing.

This program is appropriate for parents of students in all grades!

Please contact Wes Benak, Director of Guidance, by emailing him at or calling 773.925.6600 if you have any questions.

Parent Teacher Conferences: October 3, 2013

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We look forward to seeing you at our Fall Semester Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 3, 2013 Please make plans to attend these important conferences to meet your son’s teachers. Conferences are an excellent way to get an in-depth understanding of what your son is doing to excel and what he needs to do specifically to improve in his classes.



  • Create you own account. This involves choosing a user name and password for yourself.
  • Log in to the system. This involves typing in your user name and password, which will bring you to the Main Menu.
  • Select the activity you want to do: making reservations.
  • Select the teachers you want to sign up for by clicking in the box by each teacher’s name.
  • The schedules of teachers you have selected will be displayed, next to each other. You can scroll side to side to see the different teachers. You can scroll up and down to see the different time slots that are available.
  • Reserve the slots you need by clicking in the available time slots.
  • Press SAVE to reserve the slots you have selected so far, or press SAVE/DONE when you have finished making all your reservations.
  • Check the list of your reservations. If you are satisfied you can print your reservations, or you can go back and make changes.
  • Don’t forget to log out of the System when you are done.
  • If you need assistance with the reservation system, please call Mrs. Kelliher at ext. 6652.

Remember: Your selected conference time slots are not really yours until you press the SAVE or SAVE/DONE button and see that your requested slots have been reserved for you. If you have selected a conference time slot, but have not yet saved your reservation, someone else may be signing up for the same slot at the same time. Whoever saves first gets the slot

Alumni Band and Ritanettes Reunion on September 27, 2013

St. Rita Chicago 2 - CopyBand members in 1954

All alumni who played in the St. Rita Band and all former Ritanettes are invited to participate in a pre-game performance to honor Lou Ricci on Friday, September 27 before the Mustangs take on Mt. Carmel. All alumni members are welcome from any era. Whether you still play or not, come out and join in on the fun!

Rehearsal will take place on Saturday, September 21st from 4-7 pm in the band room. A social gathering will take place at McNally's immediately following the

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Report time on Friday, September 27 is 5:30 pm, march to the stadium and pre-game show begins at 7:00 pm. The game will kick-off at 7:30 pm.

Please spread the word to other alumni and former Ritanettes by joining the St. Rita High School Band Alumni on Facebook.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Gradek, Band Director, at To RSVP, fill out the form below. [gravityform id="8" name="Band Registration"]


Congratulations, St. Rita Baseball!


The Mustangs claimed their 3rd Summer State Championship with a dominating 11-0 win over Lyons Township at Benedictine University.  Senior Jake Shepski was named tournament MVP.  Shepski was joined on the all-tournament team by Nate Soria, AJ Fuller, Mike Costanzo, and Tony Faron.  Congratulations to Coach Zunica and the Mustangs!

SouthtownStar: Oak Lawn brothers literally have their acts together

The Oak Lawn Park District Theatre’s production of “Barnum” will hit the stage again this weekend, and brothers Shea and Reagan Pender have the leading roles. There are two casts for the production, and both Shea, 17, and Reagan, 16, play the role of P.T. Barnum.

Reagan has the leading role Friday and Sunday, and Shea plays P.T. Barnum in Saturday’s production.

The boys’ younger brother, Casey, 10, also is in the play.  Read full story

Congratulations to the Chess Team!

The St. Rita chess team, despite being ranked 101 out of 125 teams, finished 72nd overall, far surpassing expectations. Individually, Albert Alfano had a strong showing with 4 wins and 3 losses. Nick Henrichs had the best performance of his season, winning all 7 of his matches on the 7 board. Nick ended up finishing tied for first out of 125 players, which earned him a medal. Overall, the team finished the year with a very strong performance!

Chicago Tribune: Boys basketball | No. 17 St. Rita completes sweep of No. 18 De La Salle

By Mike Helfgot Special to the Tribune, February 3, 2012

 Tony Hicks lit up De La Salle on the road two months ago, but the home rims weren't so friendly Friday night.

The rest of the Penn-bound guard's performance was stellar, though, and he was as quick as ever in the open court.

Hicks had 17 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists as No. 17 St. Rita completed a regular-season sweep of No. 18 De La Salle with a 60-46 victory.

Cullen Foulks added 16 points for St. Rita (12-8, 7-1 Catholic South), 12 of which came after De La Salle (14-4, 5-3) cut the Mustangs' lead to 37-31 early in the fourth quarter.

"I'm just trying to step up my defense," said Hicks, who had 31 points in St. Rita's 66-64 double-overtime victory against De La Salle on Dec. 2. "Coach (Gary DeCesare) is just having me focus on defense. I'm not worried too much about offense because that will come.  Read Full Story

St. Rita Announces Leadership Team Promotions

Very Reverend Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Augustinian Provincial, announces the establishment of the Office for Mission and Ministry as well as a new leadership team at St. Rita of Cascia High School, effective July 1, 2012.

Pictured, from left, are: Fr. Bernie Scianna, O.S.A., ’83, Augustinian Provincial; Mr. Ernie Mrozek, ’71, President; Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A., ’83, Chairman of the Board and Chaplain; Mr. Brendan Conroy, Principal; Fr. Rich Young, O.S.A., '82,  Director of Augustinian Mission.

A Letter to the St. Rita Family

St. Augustine once said, “You must always look for more, walk onward, make progress” (Sermon 169). In this spirit, exciting changes are coming to St. Rita of Cascia High School which I am confident will enrich the quality of education that our Ritamen receive. Several of our school’s leaders are being promoted, strengthening our leadership team in the Augustinian tradition.

Fr. Tom McCarthy, St. Rita’s President for the past 12 years, has been named Vocation Director for the East and Midwest Provinces of the Augustinians. In order to maintain a key leadership role at St. Rita and fulfill his ministry in Augustinian vocations, he will be promoted from the position of President to Chairman of the Board and Chaplain for the high school. In this new role, Father Tom will maintain a regular presence at the school, provide strategic direction and continue to minister to our students and families. I also see this as a wonderful opportunity for St. Rita to expand and deepen its partnership and collaboration between the Augustinians and the dedicated lay faculty and staff.

In that regard, I am very pleased to announce that current Board Chairman and Vice President, Mr. Ernie Mrozek, a 1971 St. Rita alumnus, has been appointed President of St. Rita. Before retiring from a successful business career at ServiceMaster, Ernie successively served as the Fortune 500 company’s Chief Financial Officer, and then as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Ernie brings a deep passion for and knowledge of St. Rita, has extensive management and financial expertise, and enjoys strong relationships with the extended St. Rita family. As Vice President for the past three years, Ernie has been active in overseeing the school’s planning, finances and institutional advancement, recently including the most successful capital campaign and facilities improvements in St. Rita’s history.

Additionally, I am pleased to appoint Fr. Rich Young, O.S.A., a 1982 St. Rita alumnus, to the new full-time position of Director of Augustinian Mission. As director, Fr. Rich will head the newly created Office for Mission and Ministry, and direct activities that demonstrate St. Rita’s commitment to living out the Augustinian mission and values in all aspects of campus life. Mr. Brendan Conroy, who has had a tremendous impact further improving St. Rita’s academic program, will continue in his role as Principal, with support from his team of Assistant Principals, faculty and staff. The new appointments become effective July 1, 2012.

As a proud alumnus of the class of 1983, former faculty member and current board member, I am confident that these changes will ensure the continued success of St. Rita. Ernie, Brendan, Fr. Tom and Fr. Rich make a very strong team with complementary skill sets. With these men guiding our school, and with a talented and dedicated faculty and staff, we will preserve the continuity of our Augustinian philosophy and spirituality.

Join me in praying for the continued success of St. Rita and please pray for vocations.

Sincerely in Christ and St. Augustine,

Very Reverend Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D. ’83

Augustinian Provincial

To learn more about the new Office for Mission and Ministry, click here.


Food 4 Less Named Mustang Corporate Partner

St. Rita of Cascia High School is pleased to announce that Food 4 Less, the Greater Chicago Area’s leading price-impact supermarket chain, has been named its newest corporate partner.


A significant component of the partnership is a $20,000 donation by Food 4 Less to support St. Rita’s tuition assistance program.


“Food 4 Less and St. Rita have worked together for a couple of years now, and St. Rita owes Food 4 Less a great deal of gratitude for its financial support,” said St. Rita President Fr. Thomas McCarthy, O.S.A. ’83.


“Food 4 Less has enabled the school to increase its tuition assistance program to needy families during these difficult economic times.  It is an honor to establish this partnership, and an honor to call them a corporate sponsor.”


In recognition of Food 4 Less’s generosity, the supermarket chain will be acknowledged at key events on and off the St. Rita campus.


“At Food 4 Less we care about the community we live and work in.  The partnership with St. Rita is an excellent fit as a majority of our locations are on the South Side of Chicago and the South Suburbs are in close proximity to where a significant number of current students, alumni, and friends of St. Rita reside,” said Nick Benavidez, Director of Operations.


The Office of Institutional Advancement launched the St. Rita Corporate Partnership Program in May, 2011.  The goal of the program is to work with local businesses to support the Tuition Assistance Program at St. Rita through an annual financial pledge to the school.  In return, St. Rita recognizes the respective business at key events held on campus.  The generous financial donations from Food 4 Less will go directly toward helping current St. Rita High School students and their families afford tuition.  For more information on the Corporate Partnership Program please contact Tom Ramsden, Director of Institutional Advancement at 773-925-5029.


Food 4 Less operates 145 supermarkets in California, Nevada, and the greater Chicago area.  Food 4 Less is a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer.  Last year alone, Food 4 Less contributed over $4 million to support education, hunger relief, women’s health and local nonprofit organizations in communities served by their company’s stores.  For more information about Food 4 Less, visit their website at