A Brief History

In 1905, St Rita Parish became the first Augustinian community in Chicago. The task of this venture was given to Fr. James Green, OSA, a pioneer in the history of the parish. Work was quickly done and the church and high school were opened in 1906.  The original number of families in the parish was 700. In 1909, St. Rita was expanded and gained three mission churches, which would later become the separate parishes of St. Gall, St. Nicholas of Tolentine, and St Clare of Montefalco.

In 1911, St. Rita Parish became its own identity, separated from the High School. Because of so many other changes in the parish’s first years of existence, the boundaries of St. Rita’s Parish also changed several times.

In the following years many new buildings were built, including a new church, rectory, convent and school.  The school which opened in 1916, was run by Dominican Sisters from Adrian, Michigan.  In the late 1940’s, the current church was built over the existing one.

Thanks to Vatican II, St. Rita saw much more lay involvement as the 1960’s came. As the 1970’s evolved, the neighborhood and world changed, yet St. Rita remained a very strong presence on the Southwest side. As the parish entered the 1980’s, it saw its population become much more Hispanic with the majority of the parishioners being immigrants from Mexico, as is still the case today.

As a parish, St. Rita recognizes the importance of promoting peace and building community and relationships among all of our parishioners as well as with other organizations within our neighborhood and beyond. We dedicate ourselves and strive to serve and love others through our acts of justice, mercy and charity. 

Despite the many changes St. Rita has seen over the years, the parish has remained faithful, loving and generous. May the intercession of St. Rita continue to bless all those who worship here and who call St. Rita “home.”