Mother Guerin High School
Mother Theodore Guerin High School was founded as an all-girls school at 80th and Belmont in 1962 by the Sisters of Providence in an answer to a request from the Archdiocese of Chicago……….
Mother Theodore Guerin High School had its inception in 1961 when the Sisters of Providence accepted the invitation of Albert Cardinal Meyer to build and conduct a high school for girls in northwest Chicagoland.
It was to be part of a Chicago Archdiocese High School Expansion Program resulting from a burgeoning enrollment during the 1950’s. Trends had indicated a 58 percent increase in the archdiocesan high school enrollment-from 38,037 in 1950 to 60,163 in 1960 for a 10-year increase of 22,126. Based on this actual head count, the projections for the next decade underscored and urgent need for additional high schools. The archdiocese accordingly offered land and financial aid to religious orders who would establish the needed schools.
In its agreement with the Sisters of Providence, the Chicago Archdiocese committed to deed to the sisters a plot of land in River Grove (Ultimately 8.53 acres fronting Belmont Ave.) and to give $1 million toward the construction of a high school there. For their part, the sisters agreed to build a comprehensive high school for girls and in conducting it to comply with certain significant conditions:
…..with the prescriptions of legitimate church and civil authority.
….not to discontinue the maintenance of said Catholic high school nor dispose of the said real estate or improvements thereon, without the written consent of the Party of the Second part (the Catholic Bishop of Chicago).
The convent house journal noted other specifics:
The Community agreed to charge not more than $150 a year for tuition and $25 for fees paid by all students. It agreed, further, to accept all educable students who presented themselves up to 420 a year. (Capacity for the proposed school would be 1,200.)
Three area pastors were strong supporters of the projected school and were instrumental in its early planning: the Revered Arthur E. Douaire of St. Cyprian Church, also in River Grove; Monsignor R.E. Stoeckel of St. Gertrude Church, Franklin Park; and the Revered John B. Stokes, St. Francis Borgia Church, Chicago.
Mother Theodore Guerin
Canonization October 15, 2006 Eighth U.S. Saint