Chicago St. Casimir High School

St. Casimir High School
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courtesy of “A History of the Offices, Agencies, & Institutions of the Archdiocese of Chicago”

                      The History of Chicago St. Casimir High School

(NOTE: Not to be confused with St. Casimir Academy)

Chicago (population: 2.8 million) is located along the shores of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois. From its early days as a Potawatomie settlement, then as the site of Fort Dearborn in 1803, which led up to the formation of the city and its incorporation in 1833 and 1837, respectively, the “City of Big Shoulders” became a major location in the US for various reasons. Railroads and water transportation were two reasons why Chicago was one of the fastest growing cities in the country during the 19th Century.

Today, numerous railroads and highways of interstate, US, state, and local designations bring people together in the city on a daily basis, as does air traffic at O’Hare and Midway Airports. Chicago is a melting pot of people from many nationalities, making it ethnically diverse, and thus is referred to as “the financial, economic, and cultural capital of the Midwest (according to Wikipedia).”

St. Casimir High School was founded in 1924 by the Sisters of the Resurrection, connected to St. Casimir Parish on Chicago’s West Side at the corner of 22nd Avenue (later called Cermak Road) & Whipple Street. The parish was formed in 1890, then a school was opened in 1891 as a grade school.

Twenty-six years later, the parish forged ahead with a new church due to the growth it was experiencing, and was dedicated by George Cardinal Mundelein in 1919, being one of the first churches with electricity, The original edifice was remodelled to handle the expansion of students. In 1924, Rev. Stanislaus Bona helped establish a two-year commercial high school for boys and girls in September of that year.

A total of 21 students were enrolled and the high school division grew from there, which necessitated another construction project. The architectual firm of Sandel & Strong designed the building that was located in the 2200 corner of South Albany, and opened for business after dedication by Cardinal Mundelein in November 1927, at which time the enrollment was co-ed.

The enrollment became all-girls in 1931 as St. Casimir continued to grow into the Great Depression and thru World War II, before fire destroyed the Whipple Street location in 1946. After repairs, the high school expanded to a three-year course in 1948, then went to a four-year course a year later as it added an academic course to the commercial it had been offering. The school also changed its name to St. Casimir Parish High School, admitting students who were daughters of parishoners. Other students from neighboring parishes had to get permission to attend classes.

Enrollment was always on the small side, which led to a close, family-like atmosphere. On the average, graduating classes had about 30 students. The smallest four-year graduating class was the first in 1949 with nine student, while the largest totalled 55 in 1972.

The school continued it’s affiliation to the parish thru 1991 when St. Casimir and St. Ludmilla Parishes consolidated into Our Lady of Tepeyac. The high school took the same name while remaining an girls’-only school and aligning itself to the Hispanic community that resides in the neighborhood around the school.


Year opened as two-yr co-ed commercial high school:     1924

Became all-girls’:                                                                       1931

Added third yr of commercial studies:                                   1948

Added fourth yr, academic courses, and changed name: 1949

Changed name to Our Lady of Tepeyac:                               1991

School colors:                                                                             unknown

School nickname:                                                                      unknown

School song: (words submitted by Bernadette Inez-Byrnes)

Onward we march together

Faithful may we ever be

No thought of time or weather

Hearts filled with hope and ecstasy

Bravely we’ll face our problems

Happily we’ll meet success

But the things for which we strive

Are honor and happiness


Dear St. Casimir

Cheers for our dear High

Dear St. Casimir

See her colors fly

While we sing

Forward march–let this our motto be


Through all kinds of weather

We will jog along together

True and loyal we shall ever be!


We are unaware of any extra-curricular activities for the students of St. Casimir, but they certainly had to exist in order to give a well-rounded high school experience, and we invite feedback from former students, faculty, and others that were involved in the school during the years it was opened to tell us more (see addresses below).

St. Casimir Principals from 1927-1990

1927-1932, Sister Dominica, C.R.

1932-1934, Sister Eugene, C.R.

1934-1938, Sister Marcella, C.R.

1938-1945, Sister Benigna, C.R.

1945-1956, Sister M. Wanda, C.R.

1956-1958, Sister Benigna, C.R.

1958-1962, Sister Celine, C.R.

1962-1964, Sister Lucille, C.R.

1964-1971, Sister Pauline Agnes, C.R.

1971-1976, Sister M. Antonine, C.R.

1976-1979, Sister M. Berchmans, C.R.

1979-1988, Sister Lydia Mary, C.R.

1988-1990, Dr. John Jurowicz

St. Casimir Parish Pastors 1890-1990

1890-1893, Rev. Francis Kroll

1893-1922, Rev. Adalbert Furman

1922-1932, Very Rev. Stanislaus Bona

1932-1936, Most Rev. Anthony Helgas

1936-1961, Rt. Rev. John Melicarek

1961-1978, Rt. Rev. Theodore Kaczoroski

1978-1985, Rev. Norman Czajka

1985-1985, Rev. James Doyle

1985-1990, Rev. Arturo Perez

Here are links to a pair of YouTube videos that were put together for a 2012 reunion of all St. Casimir graduates, as put together by 1977 alumna Bernadette Inez-Byrnes: and


then please tell us! We’re looking for information such as memories, activities, school song, photos of the school, and more, so we can tell the story of the school as best we can, Please contact us at or write to us at:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, Il  60631

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