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Providence High School, Chicago

The former Sister Joan Patrice, the last surviving Sister of Providence teacher from Providence High School, shares her memories


The 2019 Providence High School, Chicago, reunion took place on October 26, 2019. This was the school’s final reunion.

Read about the final reunion here.

And below, read a letter General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski offered to alumnae of the school.

Sister Dawn with Janet Trzaskas (left) and Lorraine Niski Trzaskas (right). Janet went to Mother Theodore Guerin High School and Lorraine graduated from Providence High School in 1944. She traveled from California to attend the reunion.

Read the story looking back on Providence High School that ran in the summer 2019 issue of HOPE magazine. Sign up to receive HOPE magazine here.

Providence High School – Chicago – has celebrated its final reunion. Individual classes may continue to gather as they wish. If the Sisters of Providence can be helpful to you in any way, please contact Cami Pritchett, Constituent Engagement/Planned Giving Manager, who is heading the alumnae/i relations area of our department at this time. You may reach her at 812-535-2807 or email cpritchett@spsmw.org.

To update your contact information, please fill out the online form.

History of Providence High School, Chicago

In 1888, Our Lady of Providence Academy, the direct ancestor of Providence High School, was opened in one room of Our Lady of Sorrows School in Chicago. Nine students were enrolled.

In 1891, the first two graduates received their diplomas. In 1898, a building on Van Buren Street and Albany Avenue (same geographic area) was purchased for the Academy.

In 1921, Cardinal Mundelein selected the school as one of the regional high schools and the name was changed to Providence High School. Enrollment increase led to a new building at Central Park Avenue and Monroe Street. Classes began in the new building on March 4, 1929.

In 1968, due to decreasing enrollment and finances, St. Mel High School for Boys and Providence High School for girls were both housed at Providence High School.

In 1969, the school fully merged as Providence-St. Mel High School. In 1974, due to financial strain, the sisters leased the building to the Archdiocese for a token annual rental. In 1978, the Archdiocese lease expired July 1.

That fall, it reopened as a private Catholic School purchased from the sisters and incorporated as a non-profit institution with Paul Adams as principal.

Today, Providence-St. Mel is an independent school for pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Each year, 100 percent of its graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities.

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