May 15, 2019
Dear alumnae and friends of Resurrection,
The Sisters of the Resurrection came to the United States, specifically to Chicago in 1900. The Sisters came with a dream of sharing the beautiful message of the Risen Jesus with all whom they would serve. A prime vision of the Sisters was the building of a high school dedicated to the education of young women.
Within a few years the Sisters purchased several farms on Talcott totaling about 112 acres. They worked the farm and sold their produce to raise money to build the high school they had dreamed of.
In 1922 the first Resurrection High School was opened in a building adjacent to the convent. By the early 1960s the number of students outgrew the original location and a new, much larger school was built at the corner of Talcott and Oriole and opened in September of 1962.
Over the past 100 years, in addition to the high school, the sisters have, with the support of the surrounding communities, built Resurrection Medical Center, Resurrection Retirement Center, and Resurrection Life Center. Sister Virginia Ann Wanzek, C.R., the Provincial Superior, states, "The dreams of the people we were called to serve became our dreams and the focus of our prayers and work."
1962 there were over 230 Resurrection Sisters in the Chicago Province serving in five States and in Vancouver, Canada. Today, there are only 24 Resurrection Sisters in the Chicago area and the median age is 75.
Sister Virginia Ann further states, that "Realizing the importance of their ministries to the people on the northwest side of Chicago the sisters have searched diligently to find proper sponsors to take and care for these ministries with love and commitment."
Resurrection Healthcare and senior service ministries now have their home with Ascension Health, one of the largest Catholic Healthcare Systems in the Country. Resurrection College Prep is the sisters' oldest ministry in the United States and, with the diminishing number of sisters, it is their last sponsored ministry. The love and commitment to Resurrection College Prep High School, its staff, and most of all, its students, runs deeply in the veins and heart of each sister. Over the past 98 years, more than 100 Resurrection Sisters committed their lives and their love to serving the students of this school.
Three years ago, realizing the number of sisters was steadily declining, and that they would no be able to support and operate Resurrection College Prep, the sisters began to consider alternatives.
Because of the school's healthy enrollment, excellent academic outcomes, and reputation in the community, the sisters were compelled to find a solution that would allow the school to continue beyond the presence and the ability of the Sisters of the Resurrection to manage it.
Between 2016 and 2018, the sisters spoke with eight religious congregations, one university and three Catholic networks, trying to find a strong and committed sponsor. Not one of them felt they had the personnel and/or resources that would allow them to undertake the acquisition and sponsorship of Resurrection College Prep High School.
Then, in the spring of 2018, the sisters began a dialogue with the Christian Brothers of the Midwest. After meetings and conversations with them, the sisters became convinced that the Christian Brothers are the congregation best prepared to assume the sponsorship and operation of Resurrection College Prep High School.
The Christian Brothers are responsible for 65 universities and 1000 other schools across the world. In the Midwest, the brothers have a strong presence and are well known for their commitment to quality education and the faith development of their students. In the Chicago area, the Christian Brothers sponsor St. Patrick High School, De La Salle Institute, St. Joseph High School (Westchester) and Montini Catholic High School (Lombard). Lasallian high schools in the Midwest are also located in St. Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Tulsa and Cincinnati. In all the Midwest ministries, over 24,000 students are educated and supported by 4,000 administrators, faculty and staff.
Brother Larry Schatz, FSC states, that "The Christian Brothers are committed to taking over the sponsorship of Resurrection College Prep High School and operating this single gender girl's school as a Lasallian School with a Resurrection Heritage that continues to be recognizable to the almost 15,000 alumnae."
The Christian Brothers will begin managing the operations of the school in August, 2019 and shortly thereafter will assume the sponsorship of the school. As the Resurrection Sisters find themselves coming to the completion of their ability to continue the work of Resurrection College Prep, they are deeply grateful to the Christian Brothers and thank them for their graciousness and willingness to receive and welcome Resurrection College Prep High School into their Lasallian family. They will provide Resurrection faculty, staff and students, with a new home as well as a strong and exciting future. Saint Paul in his letter to the Corinthians speaks of one person being called to plant the seed, another to water it, and still another to reap.
Saint Paul goes on to say that all three are equal and are God's co-workers. But in the end, God is the one who causes the growth. This is what we celebrate now. God called the Sisters of the Resurrection to plant and now God is calling the Christian Brothers to continue watering the seeds. But this field will always be God's. Both Resurrection Sisters and Christian Brothers are humbly God's co-workers. God will bless the work, and God will cause the growth.