Maria High School (Chicago, Illinois)

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Maria High School
6727 South California Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60629
United States
Coordinates 41°46′15″N 87°41′33″W / 41.77083°N 87.69250°W / 41.77083; -87.69250Coordinates: 41°46′15″N 87°41′33″W / 41.77083°N 87.69250°W / 41.77083; -87.69250
Type Private, All-Girls
Motto Maria Women Make a Difference in the World.
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1911
Opened 1952 (current building)
Closed 2013
Grades 912
Color(s) Blue and Gold         
Athletics conference Girls Catholic Athletic Conference (GCAC)
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Newspaper 'Maria Herald'

Maria High School was a private, Roman Catholic, all-girls high school in Chicago, Illinois. It is located near Marquette Park and Holy Cross Hospital and is within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.


St. Casimir Academy was established in the Marquette Park area of Chicago, Illinois, in 1911 by the Sisters of Saint Casimir. Due to increased demand, a bigger but adjacent school was built and opened in 1952 as Maria High School.


Casimira Kaupas, who would be the future Mother Maria (foundress of the order), was born on January 6, 1880, in Lithuania. At the age of 17 she went to Pennsylvania and worked as a housekeeper. She met Sisters of St. Casimir and became a teacher of religion. In 1907, the Sisters of St. Casimir purchased about ten acres of prairie at Marquette Road and Rockwell Avenue in Chicago. The sisters arranged everything for the construction of the school. Construction was completed in 1911. St. Casimir Academy opened with 21 students. Increased demand from prospective students led to the building of a modern high school, adjacent to the Academy, which opened in 1952 and was Named "Maria" for their foundress Mother Maria and the Blessed Mother. Maria High School officially opened on September 8, 1952. About 14,000 young women graduated from the school throughout its operation. “These young women live their lives according to Mother Maria's mantra: Always more, always better, always with love.”


Students at Maria High School were not required to wear uniforms.[citation needed]

Holy Cross Hospital[edit]

Holy Cross Hospital was sponsored by the Sisters of St. Casimir in 1928. The hospital began providing quality health care. Holy Cross Hospital has been expanded throughout the years and has served many people in need. More than eighty years ago, the Sisters of St. Casimir built Holy Cross Hospital for one purpose; healing. By the time Holy Cross Hospital was built, there were many immigrated families, there were tough economic times, and there were not enough resources for health care. Mother Maria Kaupas and the Sisters of St. Casimir expanded the hospital, and it grew to care for others. To this day, the hospital treats many people who struggle at times to make ends meet. Their mission stays true to Mother Maria’s commitment to treat all people with respect and love.

Closing & conversion to a charter school[edit]

Maria High School closed as a Catholic all-girls high school in June 2013 because of declining enrollment & financial challenges. Enrollment dropped from a peak of 1,400 students in the 1960's & 1970's to only 207 students by 2011. The Sisters of St. Casimir raised $10 million between 2006 and 2011 but it was not enough to continue the operation.[2][3] The school now operates as a co-ed charter school renamed Catalyst-Maria; it opened in the fall of 2013. It will ultimately accommodate students in kindergarten through grade 12.

Notable alumnae[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-07-28. [dead link]
  2. ^ Rossi, Rosalind "Maria High to close in 2013 after converting to public charter school", Chicago Sun-Times", 06 October 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  3. ^ Baichwal, Ravi 'Century Old SW Side Catholic School Closing", "", 07 October 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2014.