A Look Back: Dominican Sisters Way

This is a story Sister Rita Marie wrote for JUST Words in 2010, the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Grace School, under the leadership of the Dominican Sisters all that time.

On the morning of June 7, 2010, Our Lady of Grace School in Chicago celebrated its 100th anniversary. Wanting to honor the Dominican Sisters during this anniversary year, two parents of the graduation class of 2010 approached Sister Rita Marie Range, principal of Our Lady of Grace School, with the idea of renaming the 2400 block of Ridgeway Avenue (the street that runs in front of the school) “Dominican Sisters Way.” The parents said that the 100th Anniversary would not be complete without recognizing the 285 Dominican Sisters who served the students at Our Lady of Grace School since it opened its doors in 1910. According to these parents, renaming the street would forever pay tribute to the Sisters.

The “All Class Reunion” to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Grace School was held in April. It was a joyous celebration. Dominican Sisters who were guests at the celebration included: Sister Rose Marie Riley, the prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield; Dominican council members Sisters Kathlyn Mulcahy and Rebecca Ann Gemma; the superintendent of schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Mary Paul McCaughey; and former faculty members. Present from the neighborhood community were members of the Big Shoulders Fund and Alderman Rey Colon. The guests gathered in front of the school with the present faculty and students of Our Lady of Grace School, alumni, parishioners, and friends to celebrate the renaming of Ridgeway Avenue. The program involved speeches, a mariachi band, and the singing of the hymn to Our Lady of Grace by the students. The celebration culminated as everyone walked to the corner of Ridgeway and Altgeld for the unveiling of the new sign. A part immediately followed in the school hall.

Sister Rita: By the Numbers

54: Number of years since Sister Rita's first profession of vows.

4: Number of schools she has led as principal

18: Number of years as principal of Our Lady of Grace

1: The number of Catholic sisters who are currently principals of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago:  Sister Rita Marie.

Sisters gather on "Dominican Way" during 2010 celebrations marking 100 years of Our Lady of Grace School. Front row, left to right: Sisters Jeanine McGinley, Rebecca Ann Gemma, Mary Jerome Quinn, Mary Bride Quinn, Rose Marie Riley. Back row, left to right: Sisters Carole Dittrich, Myra Flahive, Rita Marie Range, Mary Paul McCaughey, Kathlyn Mulcahy.
Sisters gather on "Dominican Way" during 2010 celebrations marking 100 years of Our Lady of Grace School. Front row, left to right: Sisters Jeanine McGinley, Rebecca Ann Gemma, Mary Jerome Quinn, Mary Bride Quinn, Rose Marie Riley. Back row, left to right: Sisters Carole Dittrich, Myra Flahive, Rita Marie Range, Mary Paul McCaughey, Kathlyn Mulcahy.
A child brings a flower to Sister Rita Marie on Principal Appreciation Day, 2018.
A child brings a flower to Sister Rita Marie on Principal Appreciation Day, 2018.
Wall art for Princpals' Day at OLG.
Wall art for Princpals' Day at OLG.