|FACTS ABOUT CHICAGO MERCY HIGH SCHOOL
Year opened: 1924
Year closed: 1972
School colors: Yellow & White
School nickname: unknown
School song: “Mercy Girls”
“Mercy Girls” would form a “Mercy Circle” and sing:
A Mercy girl is hard to beat
She has that Mercy look from head to feet.
She has that smile, that style that winning way
And when you look at her you’ll recognize her and you’ll say
Now that’s a girl I’d like to know
She has that good old Mercy pep and glow
And just one date with her is such a treat
She can’t be beat. She’s one of those Mercy Girls
We are aware that the ladies from Mercy participated in volleyball and basketball at one time against other Chicago Catholic schools, but are unaware if there were other activities that they competed in, whether it be telegraphic contests with the IHSA in archery, swimming, or bowling.
Mercy High competed in the Catholic High School Girls Basketball League, which existed from 1927 to 1931. The school played in the league against St. Catherine, Loretto High, Loretto Academy, Aquinas, Alvernia, Visitation, Longwood, and other all-girls schools. Mercy won the first two league championships, in 1927 and 1928.
From the IHSA’s website, we have found that Mercy competed in a volleyball tournament in 1940, against the likes of Lourdes, Loretto Academy, Loretto High School, and St. Martin Commercial. More details are available at: http://www.ihsa.org/initiatives/hstoric/volleyball_early.htm,
Certainly, there had to be many extra-curricular activities that were a fun and educational part of attending Mercy. Band, chorus, student government, plays, and many other activities were likely offered throughout the school year.
**From Lynn Bauer:
“I attended Mercy HS from 1960-1964. Don’t remember the school song, but there was one. The school colors were yellow and white. Volleyball was still a big sport there in those years. We had school dances in the gym. Boys from St. Leo, St. Rita, Mendel, Brother Rice came with girls from Mercy.”
**From Jane Lichtenberger Patton (Class of ’52):
“I attended Mercy from 1948-52, when Sr. Mary of the Angels was principal, Sr. Joel– VP, and Sr. RoseMarie– vocal teacher, Sr. Bernadine- Band, and Mary Synon-Drama teacher, Ms. Smith-gym teacher, just to mention a few.
“I loved school and the nuns MOST of the time, and was very involved in singing, drama, and sports. We would stroll around the block during lunch period, and on several occassions decided to live dangerously and take a “double lunch,” which meant we would skip a class after lunch and mingle with the next lunch group so as not to be discovered. OOOOooo, those were the days!
“My mother, Rita Munday, and aunt, Mary Margaret Munday, as well as my sisters Pat and Suzie Lichtenberger also attended Mercy. It would be great to hear from other classmates, (“lights in the crowd,” as Sr. Mary of the Angels called us) with stories of school days.
“Thanks for your efforts.”
**From Mary Mroczkowski Lewandowski (Class of 1952):
“I graduated from Mercy in 1952 and remember Jane Lichtenberger, she had the most gracious voice.I also took voice lessons from Sr. Rosemarie. The operettas we gave were great fun. I don’t have too many contacts from the class of ’52, the only ones I remember are Audery Bartosz Martini, Mary Ann Zackie Stone, Marlene Komorski Marlowe, I would love to hear from my classmates.”
**From Sr. Maureen Courtney (Class of 1956):
“I graduated from Mercy High School in 1956. I treasure many memories from that school and always remember the counsels we received! Sister Mary Mark was the new principal in our senior year but we all still fondly remembered Sister Mary of the Angels. One can only speak with pride about the beauties of that place.
“On a more humorous note: as a Little Sister of the Poor and caring for the elderly, one dear lady in Denver confided to me: “when I was growing up in Chicago I attended St. Xavier Academy on Cottage Grove. My fondest memory was a beautiful young sister – and I don’t know whatever happened to her. Her name was Sister Mary of the Angels.” It proved to me that it is a small world after all and that each of the Sisters made an impression on us in ways we never knew. God Bless.”
**From Maureen (Tattera) Stewart (class of 1957):
“Loved going to school at Mercy. My favorite nuns were:
Sister Mary of the Angels-Principal (Always a perfect lady!);
Sister Gabriella (young, energetic, kind);
Sister Macrina (direct, smart, clever, and always honest-sometimes painfully so!);
Sister Rosemarie-Glee Club Director (Patrician, passionately musical, funny, sometime fiery);
Sister Augustine-Book store and candy shop (Always smiling, happy, friendly).
These ladies made a permanent impression on me that remains to this day, 60 years later. I can still close my eyes and see and hear the words that helped guide me through life’s highways and byways. My only hope is that somewhere there are women of their caliber to carry on their legacy. Thanks for hosting this site.”
**From Arlene Callender Bradshaw (Class of 1960):
“I graduated from Mercy in 1960 and my sister, Joan Callender Mulligan graduated in 1953. I remember Sister Rosemarie well. My sister could sing like an angel…was in Glee Club and Acapella. When I started as a freshman in 1956, Sister had Glee Club tryouts, and with a name like “Callender”, she remembered the connection and was overjoyed to see that Joan’s sister wanted to be in the Glee Club also. Little did she know that Joan sang like an angel and Arlene squawked like a crow! After I did my required tryout, Sister said, “Dear, your voice is interesting, but you’re certainly not your sister.” She strove to teach all of us Glee Club “rejects” how to sing, but most important I remember how she taught us to appreciate music…from show tunes to Gregorian Chant.
“After being reassured that I really didn’t sing well, I immediately went down to the sewing room and made friends with Sister Ambrosia. I loved going to Mercy and my most favorite time of the year was the three days before Thanksgiving when we’d have our Retreat.”
**from Patricia (Kuiper) Martin:
“I went to Mercy for my freshmen year, 1962. I developed a life-long relationship with Sister Virginia McGee (Sister Claudia). About 10 years ago (2007), I lost touch. Does anyone have any information? I would live to hear from her.”
**From Sharonrose Zane-Neu….
“My mom was Rose T. Young,she was an orphan who attended Mercy High with the thanks of Father I.D. McDermott. She attended during WWII.
“The girls at Mercy dated the boys at Mt. Carmel. Mom dated a boy named Bob Otton, who was the captain of the football team. Bob went to the Marine Corps, while Mom stayed at Mercy. They were to be married when he returned. He lost his life at Iwo Jima. My mom finished High School, attended Northwestern U. Then later she married. I wouldn’t have had the mother I did if it wasn’t for the upbringing she received from Father McDermott, and the education from Mercy. She wasn’t just my mom: she was my best friend. I miss her so very much.”
**From JoAnne Bloom:
“During the 1960’s, Mercy girls came from almost every parish and neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago: Bridgeport, Canaryville, West Lawn, Chicago Lawn, Chatham, Gresham, Roseland, Pullman, Marquette, South Shore, Auburn, etc. A private bus system carried girls of every race & almost every nationality to Mercy.”
**From Julie White (class of 1972):
“I was in the last graduating class of Mercy! My sister, Adrienne White and my cousin Annette White, were in the class of 1969. My memories have faded over time. But fondest memories were of senior year. I participated in the Glee Club Show and in the annual fundraiser.
“Sister Rosemary was there and I remember Sister David Marie said that I would never pass her Math class and I did. I remember skipping class to play bid whist in the rec room.
“I loved the overnight retreat in the building when we roamed the dark halls. And the “beverages” we sneaked in on our Senior overnight. The class of ’72 was an awesome bunch! I use to feel we were the urban version of ‘The Trouble With Angels.'”
**From Tom Doyle:
My great aunt was Sr. Mary Augustine Keyes, a Mercy Nun. She ran the bookstore at Mercy in the 1950’s, I believe. My mother (her niece), would take us to visit her at the school and Sr. Augustine would give us kids ginger ale down in the bookstore. Sr. Augustine was a lovely person who died in 1965 at the age of 69.”
WE’VE ONLY BEGUN…
to scratch the surface about the history of Mercy High School. If you and or anyone you know has more information, please contact us so that we keep the history of the school alive. Facts, photos, names of notable alumni, words to the school song, and memories are very special to us. Please contact us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send it via the USPS to:
Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 North Neva
Chicago, IL 60611