Featured Stories

Join us for Winterfest XI - Saturday, January 24

Winterfest Join us for an evening of fun at Winterfest XI at St. Rita High School on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to Midnight.

Live entertainment includes Final Say and the Larkin & Moran Brothers!

Grand Raffle -- $20,000 Grand Prize and nine $1,000 prizes.  Only 800 tickets will be sold.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door.

Visit www.StRitaHS.com or call the St. Rita High School Advancement Office at (773) 925-5029 to purchase raffle and event tickets.

Silent Auction and Raffle Baskets donations are currently being accepted.  Items can be dropped off at the St. Rita High School Advancement Office.

St. Rita defeats Br. Rice at Home in Front of Packed House!

basketballSt. Rita defeats Br. Rice in front of a standing-room-only crowd at St. Rita High School's gym at 7740 S. Western on Friday, January 16, 2015. Charles Matthews led the way with 26 points.

This was the national-ranked Mustangs sixth win in a row.  They continue their quest for a state championship next when the travel to Augustinian rival Providence Catholic on Tuesday, January 20.

Read more about Friday's St. Rita victory over Brother Rice in the Chicago Tribune.

Winterfest XI

Winterfest Join us for an evening of fun at Winterfest XI at St. Rita High School on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to Midnight.

Live entertainment includes Final Say and the Larkin & Moran Brothers!

Grand Raffle -- $20,000 Grand Prize and nine $1,000 prizes.  Only 800 tickets will be sold.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door.

Visit www.StRitaHS.com or call the St. Rita High School Advancement Office at (773) 925-5029 to purchase raffle and event tickets.

Silent Auction and Raffle Baskets donations are currently being accepted.  Items can be dropped off at the St. Rita High School Advancement Office.

St. Rita High School Hosts Archbishop Cupich's Welcome Mass!

augustiniansExteme temperatures, snow and blustery wind couldn't put a damper on Archbishop Blase Cupich's  Vicariate V Welcome Mass at St. Rita Shrine Chapel on Thursday evening, January 8, 2015. The event was a wonderful celebration of fellowship that exists in our Archdiocese.

Many Augustinian Friars were on hand to personally welcome our new Archbishop to Vicariate V.

Welcome Archbishop Blase Cupich!

 

 

St. Rita Basketball Makes History on ESPN2!

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The No. 5-rankedSt. Rita Mustangs basketball team made school history on Friday, December 19, 2014 by becoming the first St. Rita team to appear on any ESPN network.  The Mustangs also became the first St. Rita team to win on ESPN by defeating No. 2-ranked Simeon 51-46.

A large crowd watched the matchup at Moraine Valley Community College between powerhouses St. Rita and Simeon.

St. Rita was led by Kentucky recruit Charles Mattews (17 points), Tulane recruit Kain Harris (5 three-pointers) and Tennessee State recruit Armani Chaney (10 points).

Check out this Chicago Tribune article for the complete story.

St. Rita is participating in the Proviso West Holiday Tourney Dec 22-27.  Several games can be seen on High School Cube.

St. Rita December Mustangs of the Month

DSC_9944 St. Rita of Cascia High School Announces December “Mustangs of the Month”

St. Rita of Cascia High School presents a notable member of each class with the “Mustang of the Month” award every month during the academic year.  Faculty and staff nominate students based on the student’s overall achievements and involvement at St. Rita High School. A committee selects the winners from the nominees. The following students were selected the December 2014 Mustangs of the Month:

Payton Condon - Freshman

Payton is a member of St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish as well as a graduate from the St. Catherine of Alexandria grammar school. In the few months that Payton has been at Rita, he has been involved in soccer, chess team, student government, Knights of Augustine and he plans of playing baseball in the spring. Outside of St. Rita, Payton is very active at his parish, where he serves as a lector for Mass as well as a member of the St. Catherine Teen Club. He also participates in the Oak Lawn Baseball League.

When asked what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Payton says: “My time at St. Rita has flown by so far, which proves the saying that time flies when you are having fun. I have met plenty of new people and I have forged friendships that I know will last a lifetime. Someone told me during my first day here to enjoy every minute of it and I certainly have.”

Once again, Congratulations Payton, the December Mustang of the Month for the Freshmen Class!

Trevor Scianna - Sophomore

Trevor is a member of St. Hubert Parish and is also a graduate of the St. Hubert grammar school in Hoffman Estates. While at St. Rita, Trevor has been involved in the Big Brother Program, Band, Baseball, Hockey and Golf. Outside of St. Rita, Trevor remains very active at his grammar school and also spends his time at various fundraisers throughout his community.

When asked what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Trevor says: “As the first year and a half of my time at St. Rita has flown by, I look back at it with no regrets. I am so glad I made the decision to come here from Schuaumburg. I’ve made so many friends for life and I have been given so many great opportunities to learn and grow from. I couldn’t have picked a better group of guys to spend these next two and a half years with.”

Once again, Congratulations Trevor, the December Mustang of the Month of the Sophomore class!

Justin Schmit - Junior

Justin is a member of St. Bernadette Parish and is a graduate of Most Holy Redeemer grammar school. While at St. Rita, Justin has participated in Baseball, Student Government, Soccer, Scholastic Bowl and French Club. Outside of St. Rita, Justin remains very active with the Youth Ministry Group at St. Bernadette.

When asked what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Justin says: “It has been a blessing for me to be at St. Rita. The knowledge that I have learned, the friendships that I have made, and the experiences that I have been a part of have molded me into the person I am today. I will always hold St. Rita in a special place in my heart, I am looking forward to this last year and a half with my Rita Brothers.

Once again, Congratulations Justin, The December Mustang of the Month of the Junior Class.

Ethan Gray - Senior

Ethan is a member of the Metropolitan Community Church and St. Catherine of Alexandria parish (and was homeschooled). While at St. Rita, Ethan has been involved in Band, Jazz Band, Outdoors Club, Spanish Club, Yearbook, Creative Arts Society and Theater. Outside of St. Rita, Ethan is very involved with the St. Catherine of Alexandria Youth Group and went to North Carolina for a Habitat for Humanity service trip. He went to the Mantel with them as well. He helps with the Youth Group at Metropolitan Community Church and has worked at Company of Mary Hospital.

When asked what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Ethan says: “My time at St. Rita has been an interesting one. I have made many great friends in my four years here and I will miss everyone. I will really miss the multiple requests for me to draw someone, or play free bird, or stairway to heaven on the guitar. Thanks Guys!”

Once again, Congratulations to Ethan, the December of the Month for the Senior Class.

St. Rita High School Announces Illinois State Scholars!

DSC_9931Chicago, IL – St. Rita High School Principal Brendan Conroy is pleased to announce that 19 St. Rita High School students from the graduating class of 2015 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state agency committed to helping to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this prestigious recognition to top Illinois high school students annually. This year, over 18,800 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.

Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, hailing from 671 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners.

The following St. Rita High School students were named 2015 Illinois State Scholars:

  • Nicholas Argy (St. Gabriel)
  • Martin Bechina (St. John Fisher)
  • John Coughlan (Christ the King)
  • Matthew Felmon (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
  • Andrew Gardner (Palos South Middle School/Our Lady of the Woods Parish)
  • Jeremy Glowacki (Our Lady of the Ridge)
  • Martin Goldrick (Clissold School/St. Cajetan Parish)
  • Connor Healy (St. Cajetan)
  • Jackson Heise (Our Lady of the Ridge)
  • Dylan Helstern (Oak Lawn/Hometown Middle School
  • Sean Hughes (St. Albert the Great)
  • Timothy McCarthy (St. John Fisher)
  • Darren O’Hanlon (Summit Hill Junior High/St. Anthony Parish)
  • Joseph O’Sullivan (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
  • Jose Palomo (St. Gerald)
  • John Regnier (St. John Fisher)
  • Thomas Schofield (Mount Greenwood School/Queen of Martyrs)
  • Daniel Smith (St. Christina)
  • Austin Tiernan (St. Catherine of Alexandria)

“It is with great pride that we announce this year’s group of Illinois State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC Executive Director. “In addition to congratulating our State Scholars for their commitment and hard work, we also want to commend their parents, teachers, coaches and mentors for helping these students achieve their goals. It really does take a village.”

Zarnikow continued, “ISAC wishes all of the scholars at St. Rita High School the best as they pursue their future education and careers.”

While this distinguished recognition does not include a monetary prize, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships. In addition, students are urged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state aid, including Illinois’ need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, as well as for many forms of aid offered through colleges.

A calendar of free financial aid and college access events, including FAFSA completion workshops to assist students and families with the form, is available on ISAC’s website, www.ISAC.org. Students can visit the agency’s website for a wealth of additional financial aid and college planning information and tools, as well as applications for grants and scholarships administered by ISAC. In addition, students can find out how to access free one-on-one assistance and mentoring in the college-going process.

St. Rita Announces the 2014 Smialek Award Winners!

IMG_3800 Forty-two bright, eighth-grade young men, from 22 grade schools, earned the 2014 Andrew Smialek Leadership Award. These young men received recommendations from principals, teachers, coaches and other mentors, wrote an essay on leadership and successfully completed in-person interviews--before being chosen as award recipients.

On Sunday, November 23, 2014 Andrew Smialek's mom and sisters, the award winners, and the St. Rita Family gathered for a Mass and award presentation at the St. Rita Shrine Chapel on St. Rita High School's campus at 7740 S. Western Avenue.

Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A. '83, St. Rita High School Chairman, spoke about the courage, leadership and perseverance that Andrew Smialek '08 displayed as a student at St. Rita,  while battling Hodgkins Lymphoma. Fr. Tom gave examples of Andy's leadership and devotion to St. Rita, including his achievement of "Straight A's" during an exceptionally challenging year and continuing as an altar server after graduation from high school.  He also told the crowd about how Andrew lived the Augustinian values of Veritas (Truth), Unitas (Unity) and Caritas (Love).  Andrew is described as "the epitome of a Ritaman," by those who knew him well.  He studied hard, played football and was a true gentleman.

Fr. Tom challenged this year's eighth graders to build on the solid foundation they have received from their families and teachers.  He also told them they should accept the Smialek Leadership Award as a sign that they are capable of even greater accomplishments in the future.

Andrew Smialek award winners are outstanding, both academically and in extracurriculars.  They show strong involvement in school activities and give evidence of having strength of character, creativity and initiative.  They have the ability to influence others and have a sense of responsibility and self-discipline.  Smialek Award winners are young men who will help enrich the religious fabric of the high school they choose to attend, especially by helping to create a robust sense of community.

This year's Andrew Smialek '08 Leadership Award Recipients are:

Victor Aguilar - St. Walter

Daniel Brannigan - Old Quarry Middle School

David Bauer - St. Benedict

Matt Callahan - Independence Junior High

Angelo Cantelo - St. Walter

Joseph Carroll - St. John Fisher

Luke Castelli - Central Junior High

John Cleary - Christ the King

Quinn Coghlan - St. Cajetan

Pete Conroy - St. Barnabas

Ryan Dangles - Mt. Greenwood

Patrick Flynn - Queen of Martyrs

Sean Giltmier - St. Christina

Daniel Glynn - St. John Fisher

Hugh Gorman - St. John Fisher

Brian Gralak - St. Linus

Jonathan Halisz - Bridgeport Catholic Academy

Thomas Hanrahan - Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School

Jonathan Hernandez - Mt. Greenwood

Paddy Jacobus - Queen of Martyrs

Kyle Jennings - Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

Evan Kirts - Central Junior High

Kyle Laird - Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

Conor Larkin - St. Christina

Connor Marth - St. John Fisher

Nathaniel Martin - St. Walter

Sammer Marzouk - Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School

Jack McWilliams - St. John Fisher

Kevin O'Hara - St. Christina

Raymond O'Neill - St. Bede the Venerable

Brendan Patton - St. Cajetan

Brendan Quinn - Independence Junior High

Daniel Reardon - St. Gerald

Kyle Somrek - St. Barnabas

Robert Streater - Henry J. Clissold

Ryan Strelczyk - St. Christopher

Thomas Troesch - St. Barnabas

Zachary Vrbancic - St. Patricia

Jeremy Whistenton - Henry J. Clissold

Nikolas John Wiak - Our Lady of the Ridge

George Raymond Witowski - St. Symphorosa

David Wolf - St. Barnabas

 

The St. Rita Family congratulates the 2014 Andrew Smialek Leadership Award winners.

*Pictured are Andrew Smialek's mom and sisters at the St. Rita Shrine on Sunday, November 23, 2014.

St. Rita Baseball National Signing Day!

DSC_9474 It was standing-room-only in the St. Rita High School board room at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 7740 S. Western Avenue.  The crowd of families, coaches, administrators and baseball players gathered to celebrate four St. Rita senior baseball players signing national letters of intent.

President Ernie Mrozek ’71, Principal Brendan Conroy and Head Baseball Coach Mike Zunica all personally congratulated the student athletes and their families.

The four senior players are: Shortstop Marty Bechina (St. John Fisher), Middle Infielder/Pitcher Tyler Halas (Kenyan Woods Middle School/St. John Neumann Parish), Centerfielder Shane Peisker (Highland Middle School/St. James Parish), and Pitcher Matt Ryan (St. John Fisher).  Bechina is headed to Michigan State University, Halas signed with the University of Tennessee, Peisker signed with the United States Naval Academy, and Ryan will attend Butler University.

Zunica spoke highly of these Ritamen saying “The St. Rita High School Baseball Program always puts the kids first.  Marty, Tyler, Shane and Matt are an inspiration to our younger players. Their achievements are proof that lofty goals should be set and pursued.  I am lucky and proud to have been able to coach these great kids.  We all look forward to another successful season together.”

St. Rita Announces the November "Mustangs of the Month"

DSC_9163 St. Rita of Cascia High School presents a notable member of each class with the “Mustang of the Month” award every month during the academic year.  Faculty and staff nominate students based on the student’s overall achievements and involvement at St. Rita High School. A committee selects the winners from the nominees. The following students were selected the November 2014 Mustangs of the Month:

Brandon McRoy – Senior

Brandon is a member of Prayer and Faith Outreach Ministries and is a graduate of Holy Angels grammar school. While at St. Rita, Brandon has excelled in basketball. Outside of St. Rita, Brandon spends his time at PADS, where he gives food and clothes to the less fortunate.

When asked to share what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Brandon says, “My time at St. Rita has been great. I’ve learned so much…I have become a better person because of my time here. Over these past three years I have made friends and memories that I will never forget and will cherish forever. I am so glad that I chose to be a Ritaman.  It is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.”

Congratulations Brandon, The November Mustang of the Month in the Senior class!

Noel Mascorro – Junior

Noel is a member of St. Germaine Parish and is a graduate of St. Germaine grammar school. While at St. Rita, Noel has participated in Theatre, Improv, Chess, Scholastic Bowl, Knights of Augustine, Soccer, Basketball and Track. Outside of St. Rita, Noel volunteers at the Bible Camp for his Parish.

When asked to share what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Noel says, “St. Rita is truly my second home. My first two years have been remarkable. I became friends with so many great people and we have shared so many great experiences and memories in these halls. I know these next two years will bring more of the same!”

Congratulations Noel, The November Mustang of the Month in the Junior class!

Nicholas Durham – Sophomore

Nicholas is a member of St. Bernadette Parish and a graduate of Central Junior High School. While at St. Rita, Nicholas has participated in the Games Club, the Football Team, the Spanish Club, the Cooking Club, the Wrestling Team, Theater and SADD. Outside of St. Rita, Nicholas is very active at his parish, is involved with the CCD program and helps out at Vacation Bible Camp.

When asked to share what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Nicholas says, “Every moment at St. Rita has been a blessing. Everyone here is very welcoming which makes it truly feel like a family. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities St. Rita has given me: especially the amount of good friends I have made and lessons I have learned here. I don’t ever want to leave St. Rita because its such a special place. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my time with my fellow Rita brothers and the rest of my Rita family.”

Congratulations Nicholas, The November Mustang of the Month in the Sophomore class!

Connor Cahill– Freshman

Connor is a member of St. John Fisher Parish and a graduate of St. John Fisher Grammar School. While at St. Rita, Connor has participated in football, Knights of Augustine, the Spanish Club and intends to participate in baseball. Outside of Rita, Connor is very active at his parish; he often works the concession stands and scoreboards at basketball games, and helps take care of the senior citizens in his parish.

When asked to share what his time at St. Rita has meant to him, Connor says, “St. Rita has been a life changing experience for me. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given by coaches and staff members to excel not only athletically and academically, but most importantly, spiritually. I look forward to making the most of my future here with my brothers!”

Congratulations Connor, The November Mustang of the Month in the Freshman class!

The Mustangs of the Month awards were presented on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at a ceremony at St. Rita’s Shrine Chapel, located on St. Rita High School’s beautiful 37-acre Western Avenue Campus.

 

St. Rita Hockey Improves to 7-1 in CCHL Play!

hockeyThe St. Rita Hockey Mustangs improved to 7-1 in CCHL play last night with a 8-4 win on the road against St Viator!  Senior Tony Faron continued his hot streak with 4 goals and 2 assists.  He has 9 goals and 4 assists in his last 4 games.
The Mustangs will be participating in the Governor's Cup this weekend at Darien Ice Arena.  They will face the 1,2,3 and ranked teams in Illinois in this highly-competitive tournament.
Friday: 8:15 vs #1 New Trier Green
Saturday: 12:00PM vs #2 Glenbrook North
                   8:30PM vs #3 Providence
The other two teams in the tournament are #4 ranked Benet Academy and Indiana powerhouse Culver Military Academy.  Come on out see the best high school hockey teams in the state all weekend!

Chaney and Matthews Sign to Accept NCAA Division 1 Basketball Scholarships!

DSC_9394Families, coaches, administrators and local media gathered in the St. Rita High School board room on Friday, November 14, 2014 to celebrate signing day for St. Rita Basketball players and students Armani Chaney and Charles Matthews. Senior Armani Chaney put on his new Tennessee State hat and signed papers accepting a scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 basketball for the Tennessee State  Tigers in Nashville next year.

Likewise, Senior Charles Matthews donned his new Kentucky lid and signed, accepting a scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 basketball for the University of Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington next year.

Congratulations Armani and Charles, you both set a fine example for your fellow Ritamen!

 

Six Senior Mustangs Named 1st Team All-Catholic Blue

DSC_1036St. Rita was once again well represented on the All-Catholic League Blue 1st Team as six senior Mustangs were chosen by the league’s coaches.  The offense is represented by running back Tyre Lee, wide receiver Brandon Gaston, and offensive linemen Tom Schofield and Simon Flores, while the defensive players chosen were linebacker Matt Mitchell and free safety Marty Bechina. Lee, a two-year starter at running back and captain for the 2014 Mustangs, has come back strong in his senior season after suffering a season-ending leg injury last year in week five versus Providence.  This season he has rushed for 1,182 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Gaston, who is being recruited by several Division 1 programs, has had a breakout senior campaign scoring eight touchdowns on 33 receptions and 701 yards receiving

Schofield, a two-time 1st team All-Catholic Blue selection and 2014 captain, has anchored the right side of the Mustang offensive line for the past two seasons.  His steady play over the past two years has allowed the Mustangs to rush for over 5,000 yards combined.

Flores, a two-year starter at center, is a first time All-Catholic Blue selection.  He has handled all the calls on the line over the past two seasons while bringing toughness to the offensive line group.

Mitchell, a three-year starter and 2014 captain for the Mustangs, leads the defense in tackles with 59, while making all defensive adjustments in the front seven for Coach Joe Urchak’s defense.

Bechina, a two-year starter at free safety and 2014 captain, leads the Mustang defense with five interceptions while making all the adjustments in the defensive backfield.

These six along the rest of the senior class will lead the Mustangs in the 7A playoffs continuing at Doyle Stadium on Friday, November 7th vs the Providence Celtics.

Article written by: John Nee

Photo credit: Mike Patton

St. Rita High School Elects 2104-2015 Freshmen Student Government Representatives

DSC_8159Congratulations to St. Rita High School's 2014-2015 Student Government Freshmen Representatives!  Pictured left-to-right are: Mr. Josh Blasak '02, Chase Marshall (Century Junior High, Orland Park), Jay Ullrich (St. Germaine, Oak Lawn), Will March (St. John Fisher), Steve Viz, (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Orland Hills), Payton Condon (St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oak Lawn) and Mr. Brendan Conroy

Alderman Burke Supports St. Rita During Annual 14th Ward Game

DSC_7770On Friday, October 10, 2014 St. Rita High School President Ernie Mrozek ('71), Principal Brendan Conroy, Athletic Director Mike Zunica and Campus Minister Fr. Bernie Danber, O.S.A. were joined by Alderman Ed Burke, Hon. Tom Carroll ('78) and Hon. Ray Jagielski ('71) for the 14th Ward pre-game check presentation at Doyle Stadium. Alderman Burke presented a check, with a donation going to both St. Rita High School and St. Rita's 14th Ward Game opponent--St. Joseph High School.  The 14th Ward Game tradition dates back to St. Rita's Campus at 63rd & Claremont.  St. Rita remains proud of it's 14th Ward heritage and current strong relationship with the 14th Ward. After the check presentation, St. Rita honored it's senior football players, golfers, cross country runners, band members and cheerleaders.

The Mustangs defeated the Chargers of St. Joseph 55-14 before a large crowd.  St. Rita is now 6-1, and has secured a place in state playoffs!