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. Its building survives and is located near Marquette Park and Holy Cross Hospital, within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.


The school's predecessor, 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.


Maria Kaupas, who would be the future Mother Maria (foundress of the order of the Sisters of St. Casimir)), was born on January 6, 1880, in Lithuania. At the age of 17 she immigrated to Pennsylvania and worked as a housekeeper and then as a teacher of religion. In 1907, she founded the Sisters of St. Casimir in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Later, the order purchased about ten acres of prairie land at Marquette Road and Rockwell Avenue in Chicago. The sisters arranged everything for the construction of a school, St. Casemir Academy, which was completed in 1911 and opened with 21 students. Increased demand from prospective students led to the building of a modern high school, adjacent to the Academy, in 1952. It was named Maria High School both 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 years of operation.


Students at Maria High School were required to wear uniforms.[citation needed]

Holy Cross Hospital[edit]

Holy Cross Hospital was sponsored by the Sisters of St. Casimir in 1928. 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 immigrant 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 and conversion to a charter school[edit]

Maria High School closed as a Catholic all-girls high school in June, 2013, because of declining enrollment and financial challenges. Enrollment dropped from a peak of 1,400 students in the 1960's and 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 public 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.