Our Lady of the Ridge School 60th Anniversary Celebration


Our Lady of the Ridge School Celebrates 60 Years of Catholic Education

1954 was a special year.  The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance. The Rose Bowl Parade was broadcast in color on TV for the first time. A gallon of gas cost just 22 cents. Thanks to Pope Pius XII, the Catholic Church celebrated a Marian Year – the first ever in our history. And in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Our Lady of the Ridge School opened its doors to begin educating students in the southwest suburbs.

Father William Gentleman, the first pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge, invited the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to establish our parish school. The sisters took up residence in the east wing of the school building along 109th Street. As enrollment grew, additional classrooms were added to the north end of the school on Ridgeland Avenue.

By 1964, the school was flourishing. Although it is hard to imagine now, at that time 100 students were accepted for two huge first grade classes and more than 30 children had to be turned away. 

Today, our school is no longer bursting at the seams but remains as vibrant as ever. With a little over 180 students enrolled in preK through grade 8, Our Lady of the Ridge continues to provide a high quality Catholic education to children in Chicago Ridge, Worth, and beyond. And thanks to our parish’s stewardship way of life, our tuition is among the lowest in the entire Archdiocese – giving many students an opportunity to receive a Catholic education that might otherwise be out of reach.

To commemorate this jubilee year, Our Lady of the Ridge School hosted a 60th Anniversary Celebration at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park on Saturday, November 8th. This reunion party for ages 21+ featured a full buffet, music, raffles and a silent auction to benefit the school and help raise much needed funds. We also premiered a special video packed with interviews from staff, teachers, students and alumni, sharing their thoughts about what makes Our Lady of the Ridge School so special. (Please "like" Our Lady of the Ridge School on Facebook to view the video or photos from the celebration at 115 Bourbon Street! www.facebook.com/ourladyoftheridgeschool)

Additionally, a special school Mass was held the next day at 5 p.m. in the Church, with our current students taking an active role as lectors, liturgical dancers, cantors and musicians. 

Since 1954, Our Lady of the Ridge School has educated more than 12,000 children, forming them spiritually and academically. With God’s blessing and the generosity of our stewardship parish, we’ll be here to educate 12,000 more. We invite you to continue the celebration of our 60th anniversary by joining us for Catholic Schools Week in January and sharing your memories of our school on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ourladyoftheridgeschool.