Chicago St. Mary of Perpetual Help High School "Raiders"

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St. Mary's of Perpetual Help High School
stmaryperpetualhelphsdav.jpg
Courtesy of "A History of the Offices, Agencies, & Institutions of the Archdiocese of Chicago"

          The History of Chicago St. Mary of Perpetual Help High School

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, along with the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers are the main waterways in the city. Interstates 55, 57, 90, & 94 will all lead you to the "Windy City." 

 

From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago has grown to the nation's third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world, as the result of an ethnically diverse community that adopted the city.

 

St. Mary of Perpetual Help was formed in the South Side neighborhood called Bridgeport, which is home to Irish & Polish immigrants and located around 32nd and Aberdeen Streets, not far from the home of the Chicago White Sox, Comiskey Park and now US Cellular Field. A Roman Catholic Church was first begun in 1883, then a permanent location on 32nd Street was purchased the following year for construction of the current church that took place between 1887 and 1892 that was consecrated in 1905 by Archbishop James Quigley (for whom Quigley North and Quigley South were named for).

 

A grammar school was started in 1906, but it wasn’t until 1922 when a two-year, co-educational high school was opened. A third year was added a later date, and the fourth year was added in 1941. The school remained open until 1985 when both the grade and high schools were closed for financial reasons. The high school building was torn down in 2001, while the grade school and gymnasium remained. 

 

To find out more about St. Mary of Perpetual Help, click on these links:

http://www.stmaryofperpetualhelp.com/ or

http://www.pgsa.org/ArchChiPolPar/StMaryPHChi.htm

 

 

FACTS ABOUT ST. MARY OF PERPETUAL HELP HIGH SCHOOL

Year opened as a 2-yr school:      1922

Fourth year added:                      1941

Year Closed:                              1985

School nickname:                        Raiders

School colors:                            unknown

School song:                              unknown

ATHLETICS 

 

We are certain that St. Mary of Perpetual Help offered athletics, as evidenced by a state volleyball championship listed on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org). Boys' and girls' basketball were also offered, but we need details about other sports that the school may have offered. We will be glad to accept this information at the addresses listed below.    

 

VOLLEYBALL

When the IHSA split its schools into classes for girls’ sports, St. Mary of Perpetual Help brought home a Class A State Championship along with two district titles.

 

1977      15-  1  CLASS A STATE CHAMPIONS!!!   Coach Sr. Phoebe

                        District Champions

                         Sectional Champions

                          Qualified for State Tournament

                           Beat Henry-Senachwine 20-8, 20-13 in quarterfinals

                           Downed Freeburg 20-15, 20-10 in semifinals
                           Defeated Quincy (Notre Dame), 20-17, 20-16 in title match

 

1979                 District Champions                      Coach unknown 

 

Boys' Basketball 

 

It is known that St. Mary of Perpetual Help did have a boys' basketball team while its' doors were open. The IHSA website finds that the school was unfortunately on the receiving end of high scoring marks from two schools in the 1970's. The first one came on February 18th, 1973 when Willibrord Catholic won over SMPH 137-54 in a game that saw Willibrord have 63 field goals from the floor. The other time was January 28th, 1979 as Cathedral defeated SMPH 149-25 with 65 field goals. One of Cathedral's players, John Battle, had 85 points with 33 field goals and 19 of 25 at the free throw line. Battle would go on in Cathedral's next game to score a state-record 91 against Evanston Roycemore.

 

Girls' Basketball 

 

St. Mary of Perpetual Help shifted its attention from volleyball to basketball once the seasons changed as they competed among the schools in the Chicagoland area. There was one game in school history that SMPH probably would like to forget about as Luther North beat them 106-6 in a Class A regional game on March 12th, 1985, for one of the biggest winning margins in state history. Since the school closed that spring, it is possible that this could have been the final girls' basketball game in St. Mary of Perpetual Help's history.

 

 

DO YOU HAVE MORE INFORMATION…

…about St. Mary of Perpetual Help High School? Then we’d like to hear from you with your stories, information, and pictures (especially of the school and the state championship volleyball team). Please email them to us at dr.veeman@gmail.com or send them via USPS to:

 

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 N. Neva

Chicago, IL  60631