Chicago St. Barbara High School “Bandits”

St. Barbara High School
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Courtesy of “A History of the Offices, Agencies, and Institutions of the Archdiocese of Chicago”

                        The History of Chicago St. Barbara High School

Chicago (population 2.7 million) is located in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, the Chicago and Illinois Rivers, and the Des Plaines River are the main waterways to and from town. I-90, I-94, I-55, and I-57 will all lead you to the “Windy City”. From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s, Chicago has grown to the nation’s third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world.

Chicago’s many ethnic neighborhoods and religious factions have made it a real “melting pot” over the years. The creation of St. Barbara parish and its subsequent high school were a part of this early development.

Two articles found on the internet provide a great overview and history of the St. Barbara Catholic parish and high school. These articles can be viewed at the following addresses:

A summary of the information contained in the two articles is as follows:

St. Barbara catholic parish was conceived in 1909 in response to the growing Polish Catholic population in Chicago’s near south-side Bridgeport neighborhood. St. Barbara Catholic Grade School was opened in 1910 at 29th Street and Throop Street. The building of the St. Barbara Church was finished in 1914.

St. Barbara Catholic Grade School was growing rapidly with over 1,100 stuidents in its eight grades in 1923. The first hint of a high school program came in 1924 with the development of a two-year “commercial school” to help young people find office jobs.

A new high school building was constructed in 1924 to house the commercial school classes. In 1947, the school became a four-year catholic high school for girls only. St. Barbara High School served in this capacity for 56 years. Enrollment for the school peaked in 1985 with 372 students. The late 1990’s brought about concerns of financial issues stemming from low enrollment. The announcement was made in February of 2001 that St. Barbara High School, with an enrollment at 85 students, would be closing.

The fate of the St. Barbara school building is needed.

Chicago St. Barbara High School Quick Facts

Year opened as two-year commercial HS:  1924

Year became a four-year all-girls HS:         1947

Year school closed:                                  2001

St. Barbara HS team nickname:                “Bandits”

St. Barbara HS team colors:                     Blue & Gold

St. Barbara HS fight song:                        unavailable


St. Barbara High School girls had some nice seasons during the 27 seasons the school competed in IHSA sports. The records of the teams and the coach’s names are items that are needed. Also needed are the school team nickname, uniform colors, and fight song.

All information listed below was obtained on the IHSA website (


The St. Barbara softball team of 1988 had some lively bats. The overall batting average of the girls on the team was an incredible .413 – good for the tenth best effort in IHSA history!!

Highest Seasonal Team Batting Average

.413 by St. Barbara, 1988 (303 for 733)–10th best in IHSA history


This sport likely produced several good teams and athletes. The only mention of the program however was for a reason not in St. Barbara’s favor. In a game against St. Francis de Sales in 1996, de Sales shot an incredible 112 shots, a record that stands today.

Most Field Goals Attempted in a game

112 by St. Francis de Sales vs. St. Barbara, Jan. 23, 1996 (32 of 112–this is a single-game record)


The only IHSA hardware won was earned by the lady netters. St. Barbara had a nice string of seasons in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The program won three titles in a four year span. Coach’s names and team records of these teams are needed.

1978              District Champions
1980              District Champions
1981              District Champions 

Do You Have Any Information You Would Like to Share? 

If you have any further information to share regarding the great history of St. Barbara Catholic High School please contact us at Our mailing address is:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.    60631

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