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Tolle Lege! The St. Rita of Cascia High School Magazine

Valentine’s Dinner Dance 2013 Couple of the Year

Mary Georgopulos Ernie Mrozek ‘71

Fr. Tom McCarthy O.S.A. ‘83 Mike Georgopulos ‘72

Featured Stories Winter Athletics Having Successful 2012-2013 Season Page 5

Winterfest 9 Fun For Everyone Page 6

Egan Partakes in Civil Rights Movement and National Championship Page 10

Herbie Johnson Inducted Into Hall Of Fame at 2013 Alumni Banquet Page 10

St. Rita of Cascia High School Administration President Mr. Ernest J. Mrozek '71 Principal Mr. Brendan J. Conroy Director of Augustinian Mission Fr. Rich Young, O.S.A. '82 Chairman of the Board/School Chaplain Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A. '83

Office of Institutional Advancement Director of Institutional Advancement Mr. Thomas J. Ramsden

Director of Major Gifts Mr. John Schmitt '84

Director of Alumni Relations Mr. Ed Leiser '04

Director of Constituent Relations Mr. Bill Heaney '05

Administrative Assistant Mrs. Trish A. Harrington

Board of Directors

Mr. James J. Brasher '71 Mr. Nicholas A. Calarco '73 Mr. Sean J. Carney '74 Mr. Michael Clarke '75 Fr. Philip Cook O.S.A., Ex-officio Mr. Paul Dachota '84 Mr. James Gagnard '64 Mr. Thomas J. Healy '83 Mr. David S. Howicz Mr. Gregory J. Jania '89 Mr. Mark A. Kelly '84 Alderman Lona Lane, 18th Ward Mr. Timothy I. McArdle (Hon.) Rev. Thomas R. McCarthy, O.S.A. '83, Chairman Mr. Ernest J. Mrozek '71 Mr. Charles F. Nash '71 Mr. John O’Neill '79 The Honorable Noreen Daly Reilly Mr. Stephen M. Schaller '83 Very. Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A. '83, Ex-officio Mr. Charles A. Volpentesta Mr. Michael A. Wagner Mr. J. J. Wilczewski '92 Mr. Andrew Youpel

Emeriti Board of Directors Mr. Ronald M. Abramowicz '60 Mr. Anthony Colosimo '63 Mr. Patrick E. Mahoney '54 Mr. Michael J. McArdle '54 Mr. James C. Miller '47 Mr. Donald A. Petkus '58 Mr. Edward J. Schmit '63 Mr. Michael Schneider '46 Mr. Arthur R. Velasquez '56



Dear Alumni, Parents, Benefactors and Friends of St. Rita,

A Letter From The

The cold weeks of January and February sometimes feel as though they take forever, but the busy-ness of life at St. Rita this time of year means quite the opposite. After Christmas the first semester grades were due, and within a week we hosted 209 8th graders who came to take the Entrance Exam. The admissions and placement process that follows is time-consuming, including personal visits to teachers and principals at several feeder schools and decisions about admissions and placements. In the meantime, second semester classes have begun, individual students’ schedules are adjusted, winter athletic teams continue their march through the season, and college acceptances and scholarship offers are rolling in for the soon-to-graduate seniors.


The contrast between the frozen earth and the growth and change happening at St. Rita is startling. Even so, there are many constants: •St. Rita families are incredibly supportive of both the school and their sons. The recent annual Winterfest IX is a shining example of the care that our parents show for the school. Not only is the school decorated in a way that would make Disney Studios proud (where else can you go from a New York coffee shop to a Nashville honky-tonk to an Alaskan fishing trip all in a matter of minutes?) , but the parents have a great time doing it! And anyone who has any skill (Can you help build a model of the Golden Gate Bridge? Can you sell a raffle ticket or do clean-up?) becomes an integral part of the team. It is this esprit de corps of the parents that creates such a festive, welcoming night for over a thousand guests, many of whom have no affiliation with the school whatsoever. Add to that the success of the first Grand Raffle, and you can see the love the parents have for their sons and their sons’ school! Thank you, St. Rita Moms and Dads, and we’ll see you at Parent-Teacher Conferences, games, plays, performances and graduation, too! •The faculty and staff care deeply about our students’ success and happiness: I would pit our teachers, coaches, staff and administrators against any faculty anywhere for their willingness to go the extra mile to make certain that the experience our young men have at St. Rita is second to none. I have witnessed teachers tutoring students at 6:30 a.m. I have seen staff members take a student aside to connect them to a resource they need for their well-being and success. I have encountered a coach sitting down with an aspiring athlete after practice for a discussion on the importance of keeping his grades up. I know the counselors pull out all the stops when a student is in personal or academic stress to be sure he gets back on track in short order. •Our traditions thrive, but they are also the springboard for new innovations. Even the casual reader of the sports pages is probably aware that St. Rita is a presence to be reckoned with on the gridiron, the mats, the courts, the diamond and the ice, but did you know that our volleyball team has been to the state quarterfinals the last two years, and that the chess team is competing in the State Finals for a second consecutive year? And the band just completed its annual “world tour” of the South Side for Catholic Schools Week, but are you aware that the National Honor Society recently raised $1,100 for Heifer International to send water buffaloes, chickens and pigs to needy people all over the world? We still offer the basics of American Literature and Chemistry, but did you know we also offer The Problem of Evil in Literature and Forensic Science? Our novena to St. Rita continues each Thursday morning, but are you aware that the faculty, staff and students have the opportunity to attend daily Mass every day of the school year? These things—and so much more!—are possible because of the generosity of friends and benefactors like you who are committed to the Catholic, Augustinian, college prep education we offer to young men. I thank you for your past gifts of time, talent and treasure, your present support of our young men, and your visionary generosity that ensures our future. Yours in St. Rita,

Brendan Conroy, Principal

S av e St. Rita National Champions 1963 11-0

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16 Ritamen Named Illinois State Scholars

The Illinois State Scholar Program recognizes students attending approved high schools for outstanding academic achievement. State scholar designation provides honorary recognition with no monetary award with approximately the top ten percent of graduates from approved high schools being announced as State Scholars each year. In order to be considered a State Scholar, a student must be a resident of Illinois and attend an approved high school. He or she Top Row: Erik Landstrom (St. Catherine), Cliff Klimas (Palos South), Dan Dwyer (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin), Kevin must also be in the top 95th percentile of Goosherst (St. John Fisher), Patrick Henry (Jerling Junior High), Shea Pender (Oaklawn Hometown Middle School), Tom McDermott (St. John Fisher), Daniel O'Keefe (Most Holy Redeemer). Bottom Row: Austin Kingsley (Christ the the ACT or SAT while also being ranked in King), Christopher Sieradzki (Noonan Academy), Dennis Rutter (Homer Junior High), William Keefer (Century Junior the top 50% of their respective class. Meeting the requirements allows for a student to High), Troy Payton (Orland Junior High), Brad Glazier (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin), and John Gardner (Palos South). Not Pictured: Chris Kapa (St. Christina) be considered but does not guarantee them to be awarded a scholar. St. Rita High School just announced that they have 16 Illinois State Scholars which makes up almost 13% of the class. They include Dan Dwyer (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin), John Gardner (Palos South), Brad Glazier (Cardinal Joseph Bernardin), Kevin Goosherst (St. John Fisher), Patrick Henry ( Jerling Junior High), Chris Kapa (St. Christina), William Keefer (Century Junior High), Austin Kingsley (Christ the King), Cliff Klimas (Palos South), Erik Landstrom (St. Catherine), Thomas McDermott (St. John Fisher), Daniel O’Keefe (Most Holy Redeemer), Troy Payton (Orland Junior High), Shea Pender (Oaklawn Hometown Middle School), Dennis Rutter (Homer Junior High), and Christopher Sieradzki (Noonan Academy). “To have this many Illinois State Scholars is a testament to our students and our faculty,” Principal Brendan Conroy stated. “St. Rita is a well-rounded academic institution that strives for excellence, and these young men are further proof that we are reaching our goals.”

St. Rita Names 6th Annual Jasica Art Recipients

St. Rita of Cascia High School recently announced the winners of the 6th Annual Joseph J. Jasica Art Scholarship. The program was founded by St. Rita alumni Mr. Raymond Jasica ’55 and Mr. Robert Jasica ’57, in memory of their brother, Joseph, who was a 1952 graduate, now deceased. The Joseph J. Jasica Art Scholarship Competition encourages art students and the entire student body to create a piece of art, which in some way relate to St. Rita’s mission and tradition. This award is open to all students who then St. Rita of Cascia High School recently announced the winners of the 6th Annual Joseph J. Jasica Art Scholarship. present their piece of artwork to the committee Pictured from left to right: Lorenzo Henrichs, Brendan Jenkins, Nicholas Henrichs, Mrs. Jeanine Jasica, Mr. to be voted upon. The art can involve watercolRaymond Jasica, Mrs. Karen Omastiak, and Art Instructor, Mrs. Robyn Kurnat. ors, oils, acrylics, mixed media (colored pencil + watercolor, pastels and pencils), pencil, or photography. The winners of this years’ contest were Nicolas Henrichs, Lorenzo Henrichs, and Brendan Jenkins. Nicholas and Lorenzo both received a $500 scholarship while Brendan received a $200 scholarship. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated, and special thanks to the Jasica family for giving back to the fine arts program and the students at St. Rita while keeping the memory of Joseph alive.

St. Rita will be partnering with Harris Connect to update the Alumni Directory

Watch your mailbox for more information



Winter Athletics Having Successful 2012-13 Season The Wrestling Mustangs are in the midst of a very successful 201213 campaign. Led by Head Coach Dan Manzella ’03, a former state champion at St. Rita, the Mustangs (No. 9 in the Chicago SunTimes) currently hold a 26-3 team record. The Mustangs were named Hinsdale Central Tournament champions earlier in the season and placed 9th out of 35 teams at the prestigious Dvorak Invitational. On February 2, St. Rita defeated Mt. Carmel by 52 points in the IHSA Regional Championship, as all 14 wrestlers advanced to the finals in their respective weight classes. Eight Rita wrestlers ended up at the top of the podium (Tino Ortiz, Mike Falco, Mike O’Connor, Ronan Sullivan, Jack Sears, Ben Threloff, Keith McGee, and Tom Schofield). The Mustangs placed 2nd overall in the Catholic League Tournament. Two seniors were individual champions for the Catholic League, Ben Threloff and Mike O’Connor. Seven other wrestlers finished as runner-ups: freshman Jake Silzer, sophomores Tyre Lee, Tino Ortiz, and Tom Schofield, juniors Colt Kielbasa and Mike Falco, and senior Jack Sears. During the season, Manzella’s team knocked off several state-ranked teams, including Hinsdale Central and Harlem, while also defeating rivals Br. Rice and Providence Catholic handily. Four Mustang wrestlers advanced to the IHSA Individual State Meet in freshman Jake Silzer, and seniors Jack Sears, Mike O'Connor, and Ben Threloff. The success of the varsity translated to the Frosh/Soph level as well, as the squad took first place in the Catholic League Tournament—its third consecutive title. Congrats to Coach Dan Manzella and his hard-working, dedicated coaching staff—and to all St. Rita Mustang wrestlers!

The defending Catholic League champions look stronger than ever in 2012-13, and Head Coach Gary DeCesare’s team is poised for a deep playoff run. Having played a national schedule—the Mustangs have played teams from eight states this season—St. Rita could have the horses to contend for regional and sectional titles. Currently sitting at 13-7 (6-2 in the Catholic League) and ranked No. 14 in the Chicago Sun-Times, St. Rita has established itself as a Chicago power. Several Mustangs are attracting interest from Division-One colleges and universities, including juniors Victor Law and Dominique Matthews, and sophomores Charles Matthews and Myles Carter. Law and Dominique Matthews are among the scoring leaders in the city, as both average over 15 points-per-game. Dominique’s brother, Charles, is among the leaders in steals, averaging nearly four per game. Carter, meanwhile, is a force on the defensive floor and on the glass. DeCesare, now in his fourth year at St. Rita, has seen his young team knock off rival Marist, 76-56, and down Catholic League power De La Salle for the third straight time. St. Rita blew past Br.Rice 79-57 to take over first place in the Catholic League South. The Mustangs also defeated the defending state champions in Mississippi and Maryland earlier this year, and knocked off Christ Presbyterian (TN), who was ranked No. 20 nationally at the time. Playing in the state’s toughest sectional, St. Rita will be in the thick of things among city powers Whitney Young, Simeon, Bogan, De La Salle, Br. Rice, and others. The lower levels look strong, too, as the freshman team currently sits at 15-3 and undefeated in the Catholic League. Congratulations to Gary DeCesare and the St. Rita Mustang basketball team!

It has been a typical, successful year for St. Rita High School hockey in 2012-13. In Head Coach Craig Ferguson’s last year at the helm for the Mustangs, St. Rita has picked up where they left off from last season. The defending state champions hold a 20-9-4 overall record (155-1 in the Catholic League) and have been given the No. 7 overall seed in the state tournament, to be held in late February. The Mustangs sit at No. 10 in the Chicago Sun-Times rankings. The Mustangs have already taken down state-powers St. Viator, Fenwick, Benet, and Providence and are 3-0 against local rivals Mt. Carmel, Br. Rice, and Marist. As of this writing, the Mustangs had defeated St. Ignatius in the first round of the Kennedy Cup in two games. Seniors Chris Foley (winger) and Marty Napleton (goalie) were named to the All-State team. Both have been instrumental for the young Mustangs this season, as the varsity features nine sophomores and one freshman. Senior Joe Lugo has also provided leadership. Foley in particular has been a key for St. Rita, as he is the No. 2 scorer in the Catholic League so far. Among the many highlights so far this season were Coach Craig Ferguson’s 500th victory as a high school hockey coach, and the Mustangs playing an outdoor hockey game at Soldier Field against rival Fenwick. Good luck to Coach Ferguson and go Mustangs!

Veritas † Unitas † Caritas


Winterfest 9 Fun For Everyone On Saturday, January 26, St. Rita High School held its 9th annual Winterfest party and welcomed over 1,100 guests into its hallways, gymnasium, library, and McCarthy Student Center. The event, themed “Family Vacation,” transformed the school and gave the campus a 24-hour extreme makeover that no one will soon forget. Starting in the McCarthy Student Center, guests saw “New York City” and “Tavern on the Green” for desserts and refreshments. Down the hall, the Dining Hall was turned into “Tom’s Truck Stop” for full entrees and delicious food. The gymnasium was several mini-versions of favorite California family vacation spots, but the highlight was the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco being constructed in the center of the gym. The front foyer entrance was turned into “Mustang Rita’s,” a Nashville-themed bar, and the library was turned into Yellowstone National Park—with an actual geyser, also known as Old Faithful. The entire school was decorated by St. Rita parents who volunteered their time and skills over several months of preparation for the event. Ernie Mrozek, St. Rita President and active reveler at the event said: “Wow! Winterfest 9 was truly spectacular, showcasing better than words ever could, the unique spirit, energy and friendliness of the St. Rita family. Our deepest appreciation goes out to all the parents for their incredible creativity and hard work, with special thanks to our event co-chairs, Ruth and John Leyden and Kady and Steve Spallina, and to the head of our inaugural Grand Raffle, Mr. Jim McKeever.” One of the highlights of this year’s Winterfest was the first-ever Grand Raffle, in which 1,000 raffle tickets were sold (each ticket was sold for $100). Amazingly, the Winterfest committee was able to sell every single ticket, netting over $50,000 for the school. And what a prize for the winner! The winner received $35,000, while secondary prizes went for $5,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively. Even the seller of the winning ticket received $2,000! In addition to the successful Grand Raffle, there was a split-the-pot drawing and the famous St. Rita Winterfest Gift Baskets—over 50 in total—available to the highest bidders. Everyone in attendance was able to compete for a lot of amazing cash and other prizes. Thanks again to all St. Rita parents and families for their involvement in making Winterfest 9 so memorable and successful. Everyone who attended had an unbelievable time and will be sure to clear their calendars for future Winterfest events. It was another great night at St. Rita High School!




St. Rita’s 38th Annual Scholarship Golf Outing

Friday, July 26, 2013 Gleneagles Country Club

13070 McCarthy Road Lemont, IL 60439

Call 773-925-5029 to Register your Foursome! For Details Visit



Valentine's Dinner Dance Brings Together St. Rita Family It was another great night for St. Rita of Cascia High School on Saturday, February 9th as alumni and friends gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago to celebrate the 24th Annual Valentine Dinner Dance. Approximately 450 guests enjoyed the sounds of the St. Rita Jazz Band, a delicious plated dinner, live and silent auctions, and a spirited recognition of some individuals that have made a difference in the lives of many Ritamen. This lively evening netted over $235,000 to benefit the Financial Aid efforts at St. Rita. Since inception 24 years ago the Valentine Dinner Dance has provided the school with additional financial support totaling over $3,600,000. The awardees honored this year included the Valentine Couple of the Year, Mike ’72 and Mary Georgopulos, the Tolle Lege Community Service Award to Ron Skwarek ’70, and the Crest of St. Augustine to Bill Doyle ’41 (Bill’s children Larry ’68, Sharon Cerovski and Denise Illing accepted the award on Bill’s behalf). All three men and their families have been life-long supporters of St. Rita and its Augustinian mission of truth, unity, and love.  Their awards were well-deserved as they have remained true examples of what a Ritaman entails.  In addition ComEd was recognized as the Corporation of the Year. Sheila Owens, the Vice President for Economic Development at ComEd, accepted the award given to the company for their decades of support of St. Rita students. Sheila is the daughter of the late John Owens, St. Rita class of 1951. The ovation that each recipient Pictured above: Student speaker Senior Dennis Rutter received was a sign of how grateful the entire St. Rita community is for their generosity to our young men. Highlighting the evening was the speech given by current St. Rita senior Dennis Rutter. He spoke to the audience about the financial difficulties his family faced after he enrolled at St. Rita, and if not for the thousands of generous St. Rita benefactors he would not have been able to continue at the school that he loves. Dennis said that when he was awarded Financial Aid during his freshman year he knew he had to make the most of the opportunity he had received – and that is exactly what Dennis has done. He has been involved in many activities in the school including baseball, is a member of National Honor Society, has a cumulative GPA of 4.75 (on a 4.0 scale) and is ranked second in the class of 2013. Thank you to all who attended, and the extremely hard work of each of the committee members. Special thanks go to Mike Zunica for his continued leadership of this event and Trish Harrington for all of her behind the scenes work. For more information on this incredible evening, including a slide show showcasing the evening please visit Pictured above: Fr. Tom McCarthy '83, Sheila Owens, and Ernie Mrozek '71

Pictured above: Tolle Lege Commun ity Sevice Award Recipient Ron Skwarek '70


Veritas † Unitas † Caritas

Pictured above: The Doyle family honoring Bill Doyle '41 as the Crest of St. Augustine Award recipient

1963 Running Mustangs Basketball Team honored at St. Rita High School On Friday, December 14, St. Rita welcomed back members of its 1963 Running Mustangs basketball team to help celebrate the team’s upcoming 50th anniversary of winning both the Catholic League and city championships. Both Head Coach Ed Galvin and Assistant Coach Bob Kopecky were in attendance as well as players Larry Wilebski, Dr. Jack Gardner, Ken Gutrich, and Mike Mueller. Many of the team members had not seen each other since high school, though some had kept in touch through monthly phone calls and gatherings. The ’63 basketball squad—one of St. Rita High School’s finest—defeated Catholic League rivals Leo Catholic, St. Ignatius, Mt. Carmel, Br. Rice, and Gordon Tech, among others, en route to a Catholic League championship. The Catholic League champs would eventually be defeated by Carver 53-35 in the City Championship at Chicago Stadium in front of over 1,500 St. Rita fans. Among the many highlights of the season was a 100-51 victory over the Leo Lions and a 50-point game from St. Rita forward Bill Daly. The team was honored with a pre-game ceremony with team and player introductions after enjoying pizza and refreshments in the McCarthy Student Center before the game. They also had court-side seats to watch St. Rita defeat the Leo Lions 53-45. Thank you to the members of the ’63 basketball team for making it out to St. Rita!

I hope your 2013 is off to a great start. Thank you for permitting me to share some good news and developments regarding our Augustinian Family. Vocations – We continue to see great progress here thanks in no small part to the enthusiastic efforts of Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A. Our seminarian numbers are the highest they have been in many years. With our renewed efforts, we are reaching out to more and more young men. Many of our new candidates wish to do work in Augustinian education so that bodes well for our schools. Our diaconate ordinations at St. Rita Parish in January attracted over 500 people to the Mass and the reception. Retired and Infirm Augustinians – We are still in the process of moving some of our retired and infirm Augustinians from Lemont, IL to a new home nearby in Crown Point, IN, about an hour from the Province offices. This transition should be completed by late spring. Some of the men will remain at Franciscan Village for the duration, but ultimately all future needs will be met in Crown Point. The new facility is operated by the Franciscan Sisters and allows our men to have individual rooms and to live in a pleasant, friendly community setting with all levels of care including: assisted living, skilled nursing and hospice. Peruvian Missions – I just returned from a visit to our communities in Peru. Our works continue to thrive with 25 solemnly professed Augustinians and 60 in formation. We are starting a year-long celebration, marking our 50th year in this mission, with activities scheduled through early 2014. Your school’s longstanding faithful support has helped to make this work very fruitful. The Province Advancement Director Michael Gerrity will travel there again later this year. Michael hopes to take along a group of supporters who want to see this work in Peru firsthand. Province Annual Fund – With over 1,500 active donors we are on pace to raise $850,000 by the end of our 2013 fiscal year, June 30, 2013. When you consider that healthcare for our retired and infirm men costs over $1 million annually, you can see why we need to keep building our Province’s fundraising. Province April 26, 2013 Inaugural Gala –Our goal is 50 tables of eight. Some of you are helping us with this inaugural effort, and I am very grateful. The U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican (Ret.) Francis Rooney is the gala major sponsor. Our guests include Francis Cardinal George. We have tables from supporters in Oklahoma, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. We want to have a great crowd for our honorees Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A., Bishop Dan Turley, O.S.A., and our Prior General Robert Prevost, O.S.A. These men have together contributed over 100 years of their lives in service to the Augustinians and the Church. Formal invitations will be available on March 1. Never Settle for Anything Less – I continue to encourage you to use your gifts to the utmost for your own well-being, for the school community, for the Augustinians, and for the Church. Let each of us never be content that our work is done or that something else good cannot be done. I pray that each of us will do our very best every day and leave the final accounting to God. Thanks again for your support and for your prayers. If you have any questions, ideas, or comments about our efforts send them to me or to my Advancement Director Michael Gerrity 773-595-4035 or Please count on my prayers. Mary, Our Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us.

A Letter From The Provincial

Yours in Christ and St. Augustine, Very Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D., Prior Provincial Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel



St. Rita hosts 2nd annual Young Alumni Basketball Tournament

On December 27 and 28th, the St. Rita High School Young Alumni Club and Office of Institutional Advancement held their second annual Young Alumni Basketball Tournament at St. Rita. The tournament was a major success, as over 100 players participated and competed amongst old friends, classmates, and teammates. 10 teams in total were in attendance, ranging from members of the class of 2012 all the way down to a member from the class of 1989. Close to 75 members of St. Rita’s Classes of 2000 through 2009 were there. Each team was guaranteed at least two games in a round-robin format, where the top four teams advanced to play in the tournament’s semi-finals and eventually the finals. For the early round-robin format, two games were played at once in St. Rita’s gym while the semi-finals and finals took place on the full court. Each player was given a t-shirt and pizza and drinks while they waited for their game to begin. The games were very competitive and intense, as dozens of former St. Rita basketball players were in attendance and many current Division-one athletes—all St. Rita graduates. When all was said and done, Paul Standring ’03 and his team were crowned champions of the tournament. Paul’s team consisted of alumni Joe Volpentesta ’89, Brian McCarthy ’05, Mike Rourke ’06, Mike Gallik ’06, Tommy Harrington ’06 and a few others as well. In the finals, Standring’s team defeated last year’s champions in Kevin Carroll and Bill Bendoraitis’ team (both 2003 graduates). Carroll and Bendoraitis’ team was made up of Steve and Ed Bendoraitis ’97, Kevin Statham ’01, Mike Mehalak ’03, Dave Kipp ’03, Brian Hagen ’04, and Pete Balsam ’07. It was another successful tournament for young alumni of St. Rita, many of whom are home for the holidays on Christmas breaks from college, while others just wanted to play hoops for a few nights and relive some of their glory. There will be future young alumni events coming up as well, so stay tuned as the Mustang Young Alumni Club plans its 2nd annual Softball Tournament for this upcoming summer! The Mustang Young Alumni Club consists of Mike Cashman ’99, Mike Porfirio ’00, Paul Standring ’03, Mike Cummings ’04, Jack Byrne ’05, Mike Shanahan ’05, Bill Heaney ’05, and Ed Leiser ’04.

Coming in June... 2nd Annual Summer Kickoff Softball tournament Date: March 30 Registration Cost: $30 Week of the race: $35 Family cost: $65 All proceeds will go toward the establishment of the Meg Moonan Endowment for melanoma research at the Cancer Institute at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL.

For more information contact Bill Heaney or Ed Leiser at The Office of Institutional Advancement at (773)925-5029 Veritas † Unitas † Caritas

The race will begin at 9:00 am at Klein Park (known in the area as Circle Park) in Evergreen Park, IL on March 30, 2013.

Register now at 9

Herbie Johnson '76 Voted Into St. Rita Hall Of Fame Chicago Fire Department Captain Herbert Johnson ‘76 was laid to rest in early November after battling a house fire in Gage Park. While the world will miss his infectious personality and boisterous laughter, his memory will never be forgotten. St. Rita High School has permanently made Captain Johnson a part of their family as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in January. He was nominated by Judge Raymond Jagielski ‘71, and was voted in unanimously by the committee. Captain Johnson has been a part of the St. Rita community since he walked the halls in the mid 1970’s. Since then he has watched his legacy carry on as three of his brothers also graduated from St. Rita; Jimmy ’85, Teddy ’90, and Terry ’91. “Herbie swelled with pride when his sons Tommy ’04 and Mickey ’11 also became alumni of St. Rita. His lasting impression did not stop there as he had nine nephews come to St. Rita, three of whom are current students. Herbie Johnson exemplified what a Ritaman is all about. He devoted his life to his religion, his family, and most honorably to his community. He sacrificed his own safety for the safety of others. When a building was burning and people were running out, Herbie was running in. Herbie Johnson was a brave man that was a hero to many, and now with his passing, he is remembered as a hero by everyone.

John Egan '6o Partakes In Civil Rights Movement And National Championship

Student Does His Part To Honor Herbie It has been roughly four months since St. Rita High School and the city of Chicago lost one of its finest, Chicago Fire Department Captain Herbie Johnson ’76. Captain Johnson left an indelible mark on everyone he came in contact with and because of that, one student at St. Rita is trying to do his part to give back to the Johnson family. Chris Wanat, a junior football player, heard about the passing of Captain Johnson at their home football game and immediately thought of the family he left behind. “I am sure it was heartbreaking what the family had to go through,” Wanat stated. “I thought it would be nice to help the family and show them support.” Chris’ mother works at RN Sports and Chris came up with the idea to create t-shirts in honor of Captain Johnson to be sold with the proceeds going directly to the family. Chris contacted the Johnson’s and asked permission to put Herbie’s name on the shirts He also contacted the Chicago Fire Department and received permission from both parties. Chris had 500 t-shirts made up and quickly spread the word throughout the school selling the shirts during lunch time, after school, and at St. Rita’s most recent open house. “It's guys like Chris Wanat that make St. Rita High School so special,” Fr. Tom McCarthy O.S.A. stated. “He is a true Ritaman, just like Herbie was.” “Every day I feel very blessed to be a part of the St. Rita family,” Fr. McCarthy said. “But today is one of those days that I feel a little more blessed and a little more proud.”

John Egan, St. Rita Class of 1960, was a four-year member of the St. Rita basketball team and an All-Conference selection for the Catholic League. John also was a member of the National Honor Society for two years. Egan recalls his time at St. Rita. "While playing for St. Rita, I encountered some very talented players in our very own program--I had the good fortune of playing with players like Joe Scanlon ‘58, Al Varnas ‘58 and John Adams ’58.” All three of these players would go on to play at Division-One universities. “St. Rita prepared me very well physically and emotionally for Division-One Basketball.” John would go on to Loyola University and play basketball for the 1963 National Champion Ramblers. “Winning a championship was a major accomplishment because no one ever remembers who finished second,” states Egan. In that memorable 1963 season, Egan participated in the historic “Game of Change” as his Ramblers, who were integrated with both African-American and Caucasian players, played the all-white Mississippi State Bulldogs in the NCAA tournament. Mississippi State frequently was denied participation in the postseason due to an unwritten law in Mississippi that prohibited competition against integrated teams. This historic game is said to have changed college basketball and civil rights forever. “Loyola had four African-American starters and me,” says Egan.  “This game opened the door for previously segregated southern schools to actively recruit African-American players.” Egan adds, “The game also diluted the unwritten rule or policy to limit African-American players to two or three on the floor at one time.” John lives in River Forest, IL with his wife, Mary. They have been blessed with children Ryan, Shannon, Bridgette, Kate, and John.  Currently, John is a practicing criminal defense attorney in Pictured above: John Egan with the 1960 Chicago. St. Rita Mustangs





$100 Bonanza Tickets

Friday, April 19, 2013 St. Rita of Cascia High School Gymnasium

Includes dinner, drinks and a chance to win Grand Prize - $2,000 or Second Prize - $250

Cocktails – 6:30 p.m. Dinner – 7:30 p.m.

Tickets $75 in Advance

7740 S. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60620

This event will sell out. We recommend purchasing tickets soon.

• Top Shelf Open Bar with Premium Beer •

Order Your Ticket Today!

• 4 Course Gourmet Dinner •

All Major Credit Cards Accepted Online: Visa or MasterCard Accepted by Phone: Call (773) 925-5029

We invite you to visit the Alumni Banquet webpage at to view this year’s full list of Alumni Banquet Honorees!

• Hot and Cold Hors d’oeuvres •

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Please send the form below with cash or check to order your ticket by mail. Name

Email x $100 each = $

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x $75 each = $ Total Amount Enclosed $

77th Annual St. Rita of Cascia High School Alumni Banquet Veritas † Unitas † Caritas

(773) 925-5029 | Ext. 6616

City / State / Zip

# of Bonanza Tickets: Includes Dinner & Raffle Entry

Director of Alumni Relations

Class Year

Address Phone

Ed Leiser ’04

Seating by class year, unless otherwise requested:

Please make check payable to St. Rita High School Mail to: St. Rita Alumni Banquet 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60620


Alumni in the world Ted graduated from St. Rita in 1957 and, in keeping with his Augustinian

Ted Boundas '57 education, would go on to Villanova University, graduating in 1961. After LaGrange, IL Villanova, Ted went to Harvard Law School and received his J.D. Degree Law

in 1964. Ted has spent over 40 years in insurance and is one of the founders of Boundas, Skarzynski, Walsh, and Black LLC and was the Chairman of Peterson and Ross, a major Chicago law firm. One of the preeminent lawyers in the legal profession, Ted has served on the Boards of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS), an organization that provides support in the field of professional liability. Ted was the proud recipient of the PLUS 1 Award, given to an individual who has contributed substantially to the advancement and image of the professional liability insurance industry. Ted and wife, Pat, married over 47 years and the entire Boundas family are tremendous people and supporters of St. Rita High School. "St.Rita provided me with the moral compass and educational foundation and tools upon which I was able to pursue further education and my career goals. Most importantly, St.Rita instilled in me the guiding principles in life that whatever you do or want to achieve in life always try your best, never stop your quest for knowledge or truth, and never forget all those that have helped you and cared for your well being and honor them by doing the same for others. St.Rita cared for my well being and I owe much in life because of that and I will never forget that".

Brian Sicher is a management major at the Air Force Academy with

Brian Sicher '11 plans of either becoming a United States Air Force Financial or ConOrland Park, IL Military/Athletics tracting officer or possibly a pilot in the Operational Air Force. The Air Force Academy reasons why he chose to attend the Academy were to play baseball and

receive a top notch education. In his short time at the Academy, he has been presented with some unbelievable opportunities. He has been able to visit the White House, The Pentagon, hold the American flag at Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies September 11th ceremony, and play some of the best college baseball schools in the country such as LSU, Oklahoma, TCU, New Mexico, Fresno State and more. The baseball program travels on C-17 cargo planes to every away game they have, which not many college baseball programs can say they do. He is very excited for what the future has in store for him and his remaining time at the Academy in the classroom, on the field, and in the military. “St. Rita gave me the opportunities and resources that have helped make me into the man that I am today. I am very grateful for the assistance and preparation that I received from teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors at St Rita. Without the support that I received at St Rita, I would not be attending the most prestigious school in the country-the United States Air Force Academy. The foundation for my growth was laid at St Rita and I cannot state how thankful I truly am. Believe me, it has been all of that as I am challenged every day in the classroom, the military environment, and physically on the baseball diamond. The transition from a high school student athlete to a college student athlete in the military has been a big change. I did not know much about the military lifestyle prior to my time at the Academy, but it is now second nature. From wearing the uniform properly, to weapon training, to survival training, I have learned and adjusted to my military lifestyle. St Rita has prepared me and I cannot thank the St. Rita staff and community enough.� 12


J.J. Standring ’97 has been heavily involved in the St. Rita Family for J.J. Standring '97 nearly 20 years, serving in a variety of capacities. While wearing the red Chicago, IL and blue, J.J. was an All-Conference selection as a tight end and placeAthletics/Finance kicker on the football team. He was also a standout on the baseball team as a pitcher and outfielder. J.J. served on the student council and was a member of the National Honors Society as well. J.J. earned a full scholarship to Northwestern University, where he graduated in 2001with a degree in Economics. J.J. spent his time in Evanston on both the football and baseball teams. As the Wildcats’ punter, J.J. set—and still holds—multiple Northwestern and Big Ten records, including most career punts (305) and most career yards (12,639). J.J. may have punted a lot, but his Wildcats were among the Big 10’s elite during his four-year career, winning the Big Ten title in 2000 and earning a trip to the Alamo Bowl against Nebraska. J.J. was named All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media in 2001. He was also Mr. Versatility on the Wildcats’ baseball squad, as a pitcher, first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder all four years. J.J. currently is an analyst for fund accounting at Northern Trust. Prior to that, J.J. was a trader of commodities at the Chicago Board of Trade. Standring has also been an assistant baseball and football coach at St. Rita since 2002. J.J. has coached six Mustangs to Division-One football scholarships, including Mike Kafka ’05 and Ryan Donahue ’06 of the NFL. Everyone knows J.J.’s parents, who are both key figures in the St. Rita Family. His mother, Julie, works in St. Rita’s athletic department, while his father, Jay, is a PE teacher who coaches freshmen football and baseball. J.J. credits his father as his role-model, wanting to follow in his footsteps with coaching. “St. Rita has always made me feel at home,” states J.J. “I consider St. Rita to be my extended family. I have learned that by giving back as a coach you can really make a difference in a kid’s life both on and off the field.” St. Rita holds a special place in Brandon’s heart for many reasons. During Brandon Bailey '01 high school he was in jazz band, marching band, concert band, drama club, Chicago, IL peer ministry, track and field and the National Honor Society. It was during Music these years that he began to learn what it meant to be a musician, leader and hard worker. From section leader to drum major, Brandon had a clear passion for musicianship and leadership that would carry over into his career. St. Rita was also the birthplace of entrepreneurship for him. In his sophomore year he co-founded a modern jazz band called DyVeRsItY with six fellow Ritamen. After St. Rita, Brandon attended college at Florida Memorial University. While there he served as a director in the gospel choir and student conductor for the Ambassador Chorale. He graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Popular Music with a minor in Business Administration. Brandon later attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL where he received a Master of Science degree in Entertainment Business. Brandon is now matriculating at Capella University in pursuit of a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership. His experience at St. Rita coupled with his education prepared him for his career. Brandon is now the founder and executive director of the Bailey Boy Artist Development & Education Foundation (the A.D.E. Foundation), an Illinois-based non-profit corporation in the business of developing and educating entertainers in the city of Chicago and around the world while promoting education in the performing arts. The A.D.E. Foundation, which is located in the Beverly community, is in the business of finding, educating and developing new performing artists.  With the industry focusing more on proven independent artists, personal knowledge and preparation is more important than ever before. They have multiple arts programs in Chicago schools and are working with the Chicago Public School system to ensure that all students have access to all art forms during their educational careers. They believe, now more than ever, that people need a place to learn and develop in the performing arts today to preserve the integrity of entertainment for tomorrow. “The information that we gather throughout our lives will only bear fruit if we plant it in fertile soil. In my many years in ministry, I have acquired a wealth of information through experience and education and it’s my duty to share it with the world”. Veritas † Unitas † Caritas


Double or Triple Your Annual Appeal Gift! As an alumnus, parent or friend of St. Rita High School, you know the importance of a quality, Catholic, Augustinian, College Prep education. Young men who receive a well-rounded education, like that offered at St. Rita, can change the world and enrich society. Each of our young men receives the foundation needed to make a difference when they graduate from St. Rita. What you may not know, however, is 60% of our students require some amount of Financial Aid in order to be able to attend St. Rita. The 2012 – 2013 Annual Appeal will help to fund the Financial Aid needs of over 420 young men so that they can stay in school. It is loyal alumni and benefactors like you who choose to support St. Rita through gifts to the Annual Appeal each year that allow us to continue make a St. Rita education available to any young man who wants to be here. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, then help St. Rita provide a quality, Catholic, Augustinian, College Prep education to deserving young men. Your generosity will make a difference not only in the life of a young Ritaman, but will make a difference in our society. During just the last five fiscal years alone the Annual Appeal has provided over $3,200,000 to assist current families keep their sons at St. Rita. Thanks to generous alumni and friends continuing to answer the call for support each year, lives are being changed. The faculty and staff of St. Rita are able to make a difference in the lives of our students thanks to your generosity. In order to double or triple your gift to St. Rita’s Annual Appeal, see if your company offers a Matching Gift Program. Gift matching companies may match a portion or your entire gift to St. Rita with their own funds. What a great way to make a difference! Is your company a gift a matching gift company? Please visit to see a list of companies that match their employee’s donations.

Other Ways To Make A Gift To The Annual Appeal Direct Gifts - are accepted in the form of checks, charges or money orders. Payments can be made to the Office of Institutional Advancement at St. Rita High School. You can also use the Donate Now links on our website to make a gift online using a credit card. Please contact a member of the Office of Institutional Advancement for more information on giving or making a pledge. Stock Gifts- When considering a gift to St. Rita High School, donors often think of giving cash. However, because of the enhanced tax benefits, other kinds of assets (stock and real estate) are often used to make gifts. If you gift St. Rita High School with stock, please be sure to include your name, the name of the stock, the number of shares and the date of the transfer. Please notify Tom Ramsden or John Schmitt when considering a stock transfer to St. Rita so that you have the proper account information to make the transfer to. If you gift St. Rita with a stock certificate that is already in your name, please call us for a stock power document. Your stock certificate will have to be signed and dated by those whose names are on the certificate, and we will need a brief note indicating your intentions of transferring the stock to St. Rita. United Way- Many corporations take part in an annual United Way giving program. Did you know that you can designate your contributions to be sent to St. Rita? Contact the Advancement Office for more information or talk to your company’s United Way Coordinator. In Memory or Honor of Someone Special- Many families have chosen to make gifts to St. Rita High School In Memory of (IMO) a loved one, or to send St. Rita High School gifts In Honor of (IHO) an individual. The Advancement Office can assist in establishing either IMO or IHO funds.

Save The Date Tooty’s Corner April 18, 20, 21

Alumni Night is April 20th! There will be a dinner prior to the show at 6:00PM. Show will begin at 7:30 PM

Play put on by St. Rita Alumnus Mike Maione ‘56 and presented by current St. Rita students. For more information contact The Office of Institutional Advancement at (773)925-5029. 14 14



In Memoriam The St. Rita of Cascia High School Office of Institutional Advancement has been notified of the following deaths of alumni, family and friends. Sympathies are expressed to the family members and friends of the following: Walter Ahner ‘54 Tom Barrett ‘54 Anthony Batko ‘49 Gordon Betcher ‘57 Matthias Birk ‘41 Tom Browne- Father in law of Mike Gallagher Russ Bugan ‘44 Willliam Buralli ‘53 Michael Byrnes ‘57 Robert Cadieux '55 James Canavan ‘51 Fr. Gus Carney, OSA Kurt Christensen ‘09 Agnes Cozzi- Mother of Greg ’72 Grandmother of Peter ’13 Michael Cybulski '90 David Dankert ‘61 Br. John Del Casele, OSA John Dermody '71 Peter Dixon ‘46 Robert Dorman ‘47 Ronald Draftz ‘55 James Durkin ‘53 Kelly Earley- Sister in law of Colleen Earley Shawn Feeley ’79 Dr. Casimir Firlit ‘57 Frances Gallagher- Wife of Bob ’53, Mother of Bob ’83, Grandmother of Bobby ’11 Oscar Garcia ‘88 Gerry Gardner ‘53 Robert Gerlach ‘56 Andrew Golko ‘64 Donald Graffy ‘40 Sr. Irene Hanika, OSA James Harrington- Father of Tom ’74 Grandfather of Jack ’02, Tom’06, Kevin’86, Brian ’87 & Keegan O’Hara’17 John Heniff ‘43 James Henry- Father of Jim Henry '71 William David Hoag ’55- Cousin of Don Johnson ’67 Kerry Robert Hoffman ‘78 Donna Husa- Wife of Jay Husa Jr. ’87 & Daughter-in-law of James ’60 Joseph S. Husa- Father of Jim Husa '60, Grandfather of Jay Husa '87 Joseph Janky ‘55 Bruce Johnson- Father of David ’97 Herbert "Herbie" Johnson '76- Father, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, and Friend to many at St. Rita Edmund Jung ‘39 Frank Kager ‘43 Dorothy Keane- Mom of Bob ’69, Dennis ’70, Ray ’79, Grandmother of Ray ’14,

Victor ’16 James Kinahan ‘51 Don Klimas ‘51 John Kozumplik ‘48 Joseph Kratzer ‘51 Nancy Kwiatkowski- Mother of Jodi McLawhorn Joe Lakinger ‘68 Thomas Leahy ‘50 Steven LePitre ‘70 Margaret Lewon- Wife of Jerome Lewon '51 Frank Loftus ‘41 Dennis Long ‘49 Bernard Lucchetti ‘47 Harry Lux- Grandfather of Tim ’13 and Brian McMahon ‘06 Ed Madden ‘42 Joe Mahoney '51 Nino Martini '55 Bridie McCarthy- Grandmother of Brian ’05 Bob McGleam- Father of Thomas '02 John McGlynn ‘79 Fr. John McGrath James McNally ‘53 Ed Milas ‘58 Justin Miller ‘00 Meg Moonan- Wife of Ken ’87, Mother of Luke ’16 Terry "Turk" Muller '58- Brother of Ronald ’64, Dale ’67, and Gary ’77 Joseph Murphy ’49 Ronnie Nelson- Aunt of Mary Albrecht Leo Niles ‘47 Joseph Norwick ‘72

Catherine O'Boye- Sister-in-law of Kevin '68 David B. O'Brien '66 Robert O'Donnell '42- Brother of Joseph O’Donnell ’50 and Husband to Patricia Vyto Pabreza ‘67 Fernando Pavon '79 Joseph Pedzimaz ‘45 Richard A. Pekan '58 Jim Petkus ‘64 Marilyn Quirk- Wife of Peter Quirk '64 Lorraine Rankine- Aunt of Jodi McLawhorn Richard Razas ‘51 Sam Ricobene ‘57 Eleanor Rind- Grandmother of Mike Stawski '01 Tony Risich Edmund Rooney ‘42 Anthony Rosich ‘58 Robert Rucinski ‘51 Tony Scianna- Uncle of Fr. Bernie Scianna, O.S.A. '83 David Shields ‘68 Louis Sperka '48 Dr. Walter Stanaszek ‘58 Paul Sweas '71 Roger Swidron '60- Brother of Dan ’63, Cousin of Tom Drez ’64 & Ron Kulwinski ‘64 John Tandyk ‘45 Daniel Tynan ’50 James R. Walsh ‘47 Bernard Wawrzyniak ‘56 Andrew Weishar- Br. Rice graduate Arthur J. Wolniak, Sr. '35 Edward Zajac '66

All attempts at accuracy for these lists are made prior to publication. We apologize for any errors in listings or omissions. If there is an error with a listing or an omission, please contact Ed Leiser '04, Director of Alumni Relations, in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 773.925.5029 or


St. Rita of Cascia High School 7740 S. Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60620

Non-Profit Organization




Chicago, Illinois Permit No. 2955

773.925.5029 |

“Coming Home” 2013 Alumni Banquet FRIDAY, APRIL 19TH

HONORING THE CLASSES OF 1953, 1963, 1973, 1988, 1993, and 2003

Cocktails – 6:30 p.m.


Dinner – 7:30 p.m.

Joe Augustine ‘73

• Top Shelf Open Bar with Premium Beer • 4 Course Gourmet Dinner • Hot and Cold Hors d’oeuvres •


Jim Brasher ‘71 John Flaherty ‘70 Herbie Johnson ‘76 Mike Mueller ‘63 Jim Olichwier ‘62 We invite you to visit the Alumni Banquet webpage at to get more information! For more information on the Alumni Banquet please contact Ed Leiser, Director of Alumni Relations, at 773-925-5029.

Stay tuned for the announcement of Man of the Year, Athletic Awards, Loyalty Awards, and our Honorary Alumnus.

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