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Springfield Dominicans
Chicago street renamed
to honor sister teachers

By Nathan Mihelich
Director of Communication
Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois

The 2400 block of Ridgeway Avenue in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood has a new honorary name, “Dominican Sisters Way.” The name recognizes the Dominican sisters’ 100-year presence at Our Lady of Grace Elementary School (OLG).

Dozens of current students, alumni, friends, family members, parishioners and community members attended the dedication ceremony and street sign unveiling on Friday, April 23 at 1 p.m. at the school’s front door and corner intersection. The OLG Children’s Choir performed the school song for the first time in many years.

School principal Sister Rita Marie Range, OP (Springfield) explained that this honor first started as an idea by eighth-grade students who wanted to give back to the school and its sister-educators for their 100 years of service to the school and community.

Since opening in 1910, OLG sisters and lay teachers have educated more than 6,500 children. True to its roots as a school for immigrant children, OLG currently serves more than 190 students from Latino and working families.

Quick Facts About Our Lady of Grace School and the Dominican Sisters

In 1873 the foundresses of what has become the Dominican Sisters of Springfield came to Jacksonville Illinois specifically to teach.

Since the congregation's founding, Springfield Dominican sisters have staffed almost 60 schools, with about 75 percent of those being in Illinois.

Approximately 285 sisters have served at Our Lady of Grace throughout its 100-year history, educating more than 6,500 students.

22 women from Our Lady of Grace have become Springfield Dominican sisters.

“A very special thank you to the eighth-grade class, you did something very important,” 35th Ward Chicago Alderman Rey Colon told the students during the dedication ceremony. “This sign had to be approved by the whole city council of Chicago. You changed the law to change the name of this street. This gift you leave behind. It is something valuable and is very historic. It is something that you should celebrate today. Congratulate yourselves! I feel very thankful that I could be part of this historic day.”

“I taught for three years here in the 1970s and I loved it,” said Sr. Rose Marie Riley, OP, prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, during her remarks at the dedication ceremony. “In the name of all Dominican Sisters of Springfield I say thank you, eighth graders, for making this wonderful event possible. As Father said, “May we have 100 more years!”

The Dominican sisters proudly recognize that an Our Lady of Grace School education does more than simply prepare students for high school, college, and beyond. It provides a gift of knowledge, morals, and values to last a lifetime.

“You are so prepared for the world… You are graced,” said Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, OP, (Springfield) Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, at the dedication ceremony. “As I look at you and your faces I am so grateful to you for opening wide to the world the doors of Our Lady of Grace to share what you have here with others. That’s our commitment to you and I love you. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing for the Archdiocese to be a part of this.”

The anniversary celebration continued the next day with an open house and Mass at OLG, followed by an alumni banquet. Donated proceeds from the banquet will support the scholarship fund, which currently assists 60 percent of the school families.

View a slideshow of images from the dedication ceremony

For more information about the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, visit www.springfieldop.org.