Chicago St. Pius V Commercial High School

Chicago St. Pius V Commercial High School – 2008
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Courtesy of Marjorie Noga

                     The History of Chicago St. Pius V Commercial High School

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is located in far northeastern Illinois along the banks of Lake Michigan. It is the third largest city in the United States. Chicago is home to several great enterprises including one of the world’s busiest airports, O’Hare International. Several Interstates and Illinois Routes will lead you to Chicago.

As the city grew, Chicago became a melting pot of cultures and people with countless nationalities showing representation in the “Windy City.” In doing so, neighborhoods were noted by the country were the immigrants came from. Those folks believed in education and started their own schools, some of which were taught in their native language or run by people that they knew and trusted.

St. Pius V School Corner – 2008
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Submitted by Marjorie Noga

St. Pius V Commercial High School was opened by the Sisters of Charity BVM in 1894 in St. Pius V Parish, named for the 16th Century Pope. The school offered a one-year commercial course the first year, then added the second year in 1895. Commercial law courses were offered at St. Pius V, which made it different from other commercial schools in Chicago.

As of 1945, the school was a two-year school for those who wished to be secretaries but didn’t want to complete the course in four years. Very little is known beyond that point, except that the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Archives & Research Center states that the school closed in 1969.


Year opened as 1-yr school:          1894

Became a 2-yr school:                    1895

Closed for good:                             1969

Memories and Information About St. Pius High School

From Marjorie Noga:

“This building is still standing at Cullerton and Ashland. In the last 50 or so years it has been a high school or grade school or closed as funding and/or community needs dictated. The building currently serves as a grade school. The principal’s name was Nancy Cullinan in 2007. She went to St. Mary’s HS at Damen & Grenshaw. She would have been class of 1969. This is a Dominican parish. It was my parish growing up.”

From Mary Delgado (class of 1968):

“Hello, I’m writing to let you know that both my sister and I graduated from St. Pius High School: Virginia Delgado and Mary Ellen Delgado. We went on to have successful careers, and I am grateful for what I learned and the skills I acquired. This was in the ’60s, and from reading your article, it sounds like the school closed the year after I graduated. My family was well-known in the area; we lived on Blue Island Avenue.

“If you have more resources than I do, I’d love to contact some of the students in our class – it was small, probably 25 girls in each the first year and second year classes. I searched for a Facebook page for the school and could not find one, so I’d like to start one and invite former students to join.

“I only remember the names of two of the primary instructors: typing was Sister Jean Carla (or Sister Carla Jean?), and shorthand was Mrs. Reidy. There was a very handsome young priest who would come speak to us occasionally.”


We are more than willing to accept additional information about the history of St. Pius V Commercial High School. If you have any details about the school, mementos, a general idea of what life was like at the school, or anything else, please contact us at or use the mail by writing to us at:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL 60631

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