Congratulations Cast, Crew and Pit Orchestra
on their performance of
Join Us On The St. Francis Path
"True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice."
Saint Francis of Assisi
Don't Let Fear Drive Your High School Decision"
Would it surprise you to know I communicate with colleagues from other Catholic schools in the diocese? That we respect each other? Share best practices and a love of Catholic education? We all boast 100% college acceptance rates, which separates us from public schools but not from each other. That's the unity behind the scenes, but sometimes I hear "fear" outside this bubble. Veiled in unrealistic statements and expectations, fear that drives a high school decision breaks my heart, especially after reading last week's news of frightened parents trying to guarantee top university admission for their children.
Do you know why I invite you to tour St. Francis High School? To understand this school, learn the facts, and make an informed decision-for yourself-not out of fear of what you could be missing but out of love for how this school fits your student. Fear can burden parents who desire to control a child's future. I like to remind parents that students know which school suits them and ultimately will thrive in that environment. In the end, college admissions officers do not favor one high school over another, so fear has no place in this process. They look at the individual student, their academic progress and personal pursuits.
SFHS has always been steadfast in its desire for each student to attend the right college for that individual student. St. Francis believes and lives this philosophy, and isn't it the best philosophy after all. Parents, I invite you to visit and discover the right path out of love, not fear, for the perfect pairing of student and school.
I'm happy to discuss your admissions situation any time (630) 668-5800 x1120.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
"I Am St. Francis"
The Retreat Leader Perspective: Five Questions for Seniors and Kairos Student Leaders Ian P., '19 and Madison W., '19
Kairos is the four-day, three-night Senior Retreat that caps off the retreat series at St. Francis High School. It is an intense and rewarding deep dive into relationships with others and God. Students miss class time to attend, and teachers celebrate the right of passage, giving them time to make up missed work. Seniors choose to attend Kairos but gradually prepare for the experience during retreats required their freshman, sophomore, and junior years, which grow in depth, focus, and duration. Ask anyone who's attended Kairos how it's affected them, then get ready to listen. It's not an exaggeration to say Kairos changes lives. Here's more information from two seniors who participated as Kairos Student Leaders with their peers this year.
1. What grade school did you attend, and what groups you are involved in at SFHS? What are your future plans?
Ian: I attended St. Matthew School in Glendale Heights. I'm involved in Band (I play tenor saxophone), Student Ministry Team, Men's Spirituality Group, National Honor Society, Student Ambassador Leadership Team, and I am also a Eucharistic Minister Captain. I also tutor little kids next door at Marian Park, a housing complex for low-income families which is right next to St. Francis. I will be attending Loyola University in Chicago and majoring in nursing. I hope to become a nurse practitioner in pediatrics or in the Air Force. I can't decide, but I know I am determined to reach my passion!
Madison: I attended Benjamin Middle School in West Chicago. I have always been involved in different types of sports growing up, but I've played Golf and Basketball throughout high school. I also participate in different groups at St. Francis, such as Student Ambassador Leadership Team, National Honor Society, and Student Ministry Team. Looking down the line, I am excited to be attending college at either Belmont University or the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studying either Physics Pre-Health or Kinesiology. The current goal is then to further my studies with a Master's in Physician Assistant Studies.
2. Describe in one word your retreat experience.
3. What was the biggest surprise from an SFHS retreat experience?
Ian: I would say the biggest surprise from St. Francis retreats was just how powerful they are in bringing the students together, especially because all students attend them. Before St. Francis, I had attended one retreat, which was for confirmation in eighth grade. This experience made me see retreats as sort of an individual activity, a self-reflective life evaluation, if you will. While this is true about retreats here, what's also true is that the retreats here have the power to really connect and create new relationships. Seniors as well as select juniors will experience Kairos. Through Kairos, I have created many unexpected friendships that I will never forget. From a glance, we may appear different. It's easy to forget that we are all God's children, but if you take time to get to know somebody, you will find that the person you walk by everyday on your way to third period is going through the same things you are. And just like that, a new bond is created and will only grow from there on out. Because of Kairos, St. Francis has become more than just a high school. It has become a tight-knit community where the main priority is cultivating love.
Madison: Over the past four years experiencing SFHS retreats, the biggest surprise for me was simply realizing how interconnected we students are as a whole. I saw this specifically on both of the Kairos retreats I attended (one as a candidate, one as a leader.) Fortunately, for me, I was a Kairos candidate as a junior and was struck immediately by this reoccurring theme. I was surrounded by my peers who didn't quite feel like my peers because the majority were a year older than me in school. That specific wall of age and differences was immediately dismantled as the retreat began. The magic of Kairos allowed for all the candidates to view every person as equals, no matter what his or her story may be. Having this perspective of one another is the beauty of retreats at St. Francis. They teach us that every student is more than what they may appear in the classroom.
4. What are some of the changes you have seen in your life since you went on retreat?
Ian: Attempting to answer this question is very difficult because I can't put it into words! But I'll try my best. One of the changes I have implemented in my life since retreat is simply living in the present. Our lives are extremely busy. There are so many things going on and we often forget to simply enjoy ourselves. Instead of worrying about the future, I live in the now. What some people don't realize is that high school is short; it is only 4 years out of the many years of life that will come. So, I make an effort to enjoy every day that comes. Be present. Smile more. Laugh more. Say hi to people in the halls. Start a conversation with people you don't know. I can say honestly that my life has gotten a little brighter after implementing these simple changes. Another change I have made because of my retreat experiences is always trying to be the best version of myself I can be. The best version of myself is someone who doesn't hide behind something they're not. The best version of myself is someone who is vulnerable, someone who is not afraid to open up when things go wrong. The best version of myself is someone who pays attention to those around them, someone who always looks out for the little guy.
Madison: The two most distinct changes for me have shown through my own faith life and the personal relationships I have maintained and developed. I mentioned above that I attended public school growing up, so incorporating faith into my educational life was something very new to me. My first religious retreat was through St. Francis. With no exaggeration intended, my religious beliefs and faith have developed drastically through my four years at SFHS--retreats being one of the most influential factors. The retreats at SFHS were held at a perfect time. Throughout high school, we students are constantly finding and growing new relationships with our peers. I like to say going on retreat can sometimes be the metaphorical "glue" to a budding relationship. I know for me personally, I have found some of the most important people in my life through the SFHS retreats and benefitted greatly from that "glue."
5. Other than Kairos, what is the best thing about SFHS, in your opinion?
Ian: I would say the best things about St. Francis are the teachers. During my time here, I have met some of the most memorable, authentic, wackiest (in a good way), brilliant, and loving individuals. I've had teachers who have made an effort to prioritize my well-being, teachers who have stayed after school to help me with homework, teachers who have made my stomach hurt from laughing too much, and teachers who have helped shape the person I am today. This is what makes St. Francis worth it. When your life is filled with people who want you to succeed, with people who are really passionate about what they do. These teachers make you look forward to going to school every day. Some high school experiences consist of a dull, quick blur--going to school, then athletics/clubs, eat, sleep, repeat for four years. But St. Francis is not just some high school. It's a place that I'm proud to call my home.
I AM EMBRACING.
Madison: The best part about SFHS is the duality of the comfort of calling a place a second home yet feeling prepared to advance to the next stages of life. What I mean by this is, as I see my fourth and final year here coming to an end, I like to recognize the comfort that SFHS provides to all of its students - whether that be through the community, faith life, curriculum, etc. SFHS is one large home to its body of students and faculty, and this whole body of people views one another in a familial way. When I walk the halls here, I do so in comfort of knowing I belong. I also do so in comfort of knowing I am prepared to take on the next stages of my life. Yes, St. Francis is a renowned college preparatory; however, I like to view it as a life preparatory. SFHS teaches us lessons both in and out of the classroom that will stick with us for the rest of our lives.
I AM VALUING.
Only at St. Francis High School
Unique Retreat Program Reaches All SFHS Students Each Year
The SFHS retreat program. You've probably heard there's nothing like it. Retreats help to build the school's distinctive community culture in the tradition of connectedness Saint Francis of Assisi established for his brothers.
While SFHS students reach out in service each year, they also attend retreat to deepen self-discovery and faith. Here's an overview:
Retreats happen during school days-an extra reason to make students excited to attend.
Teachers are great supporters-and give students time to make up missed work.
Retreats encourage the community's faith-students grow in mind, body, and spirit and also connect with each other.
Retreats are age appropriate-growing in length and intensity, for all grades with different purposes, complementing the Religion curriculum.
Retreats are required Freshman through Junior year-then highly recommended and attended Senior year for Kairos.
Retreats develop many facets of a student-supporting them personally and equipping them to lead and minister.
Retreats strengthen students' relationship with God-with prayer and liturgical experiences that provide fresh opportunities to encounter Christ.
Theme: Franciscan Service
One Day at Feed My Starving Children
Freshman Retreat takes place at Feed My Starving Children as a working introduction to Saint Francis and his acts of Christian service. It also is one of the first opportunities for Freshmen to become better acquainted off campus as a class community. Student Ministry Team members (upperclassmen) also attend and assist. It is scheduled in the fall.
Emery C., '22
: "The Freshman Retreat was a community building experience. As a freshman, I didn't know a lot of people. During the retreat, I was with my homeroom. I was so happy there, I laughed, I met new people. It was an amazing experience to start St. Francis. It was eye opening to learn about the countries and children who do not have enough food to eat. It made me aware of issues in the world and what I can do to help."
Theme: Body of Christ
One Day at Riverwoods Christian Center, St. Charles
The Sophomore Retreat centers on character, strength, wisdom, and passion. Students spend the day in various group sessions and hear Keynote Speaker John Grossman, Inspirational Storyteller and Youth Team Builder. Student Ministry Team leads the retreat.
Matthew B., '21:
"We got into small groups and talked about life. It was fun. It was a good experience to get to know people better, and I made a lot of new friends. John Grossman talked about how sophomore year isn't too late to get to know people, and it's true."
Two Days, One Night at LaSalle Manor, Plano
The Junior Retreat
is offered multiple dates during the year to smaller groups. Retreat Staff at LaSalle Manor facilitate the two-day overnight, fostering participation in small-group sharing, exercises, and prayer. This precursor to the Senior Kairos Retreat introduces a deeper experience of growing personally in faith and in community.
Bridget R., '20:
"The students on the retreat opened up in a whole new way. It felt like this retreat built on what I learned at the previous two retreats. I am glad I did it and have another year to learn about people. There were a lot of confidence boosters and the experience allows you to appreciate who you are and appreciate the gifts in life."
Kairos Senior Retreat (Optional)
Theme: In God's Time
Four Days, Three Nights at Carmelite Spiritual Center, Darien
The Senior Kairos Retreat encourages students to foster deeper friendships/relationships as well as stronger spirituality with the goal to live a life with God. The retreat is small-group oriented and student leaders share witness talks. In addition, there is prayer time, journaling opportunities, and Reconciliation. On Kairos, students discover much about themselves and others and walk away saying, "I am not alone. Everyone has a story."
David O., 19:
"One aspect of Kairos I specifically enjoyed was how you get an understanding of people. You don't know what people are going through until you hear their story. I now am a more empathetic person because of Kairos. We grew closer together as a class and as a group. I would encourage everyone to go; you will never regret it."
Men's Spirituality Group Retreat
Theme: Franciscan Brotherhood, Franciscan Spirit
One Day, On Campus
The Men's Spirituality Retreat invites boys from all grades and impresses the Franciscan values Saint Francis of Assisi promoted among his brothers. The Men's Spirituality Retreat focuses on topics such as identity, Franciscan community spirit, respect, humility, and firm faith. Although Men's Spirituality Group meets weekly, the one-day Retreat occurs in January. A student-led Overnight Retreat is planned for September.
Michael R., '22:
"I really liked it because it shows you are not alone and what people are going through. I got a sense of peace at the end. When I came home, I was telling my mom how great it was and many of the seniors stepped up and helped us through the transition to high school. The older guys mentor us and help me feel more confident. I would recommend it to anyone."
Students at Junior Retreat
Alumni on Campus Share Professional Tips and Talents
From chemical engineers to professional football players and masterclass musicians, alums return to St. Francis High School to share their knowledge, insights, talents, and spirit as guest speakers and substitute teachers. We thank the following alums for most recently taking time with SFHS students in the classroom:
James Butler, '14, Oakland Raiders, National Football League, returned to campus for two days of substitute teaching.
Ethan Caesar, '17, Chemical Engineering Student, Trine University, returned to speak with Chemistry and Engineering classes to explain the field of chemical engineering, college majors, typical college schedules, and classes.
Krystian Link, '07, Engineering Project Manager, Navistar, Inc., spoke on campus with SFHS Engineering class and Engineering Club highlighting current work and the education required to become an engineer.
Jim Perona, '02,
graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music, performed and gave a series of masterclasses for the Music Ensemble (Rock Band) and Guitar classes.
SFHS Teachers Teaching Teachers at Illinois Computing Educators Conference
Representing SFHS as a Microsoft Showcase School, teachers Kelsey Catena and Colleen Kaplan presented at February's Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) 2019 conference, along with four student participants. Ms. Catena and Ms. Kaplan presented a 2.5 hour workshop for Midwest educators on Microsoft MakeCode and brought St. Francis students as co-presenters (Ella D.,'22, Cate D., '22, John G., '21, and Joey S., '21). Microsoft MakeCode is part of the coding unit SFHS students participate in during their Digital Literacy class as Freshmen. Students helped present the coding projects they made in class and taught educators how to code in the Microsoft MakeCode app. The three-day conference showcased the best in instructional technology strategies and resources to educators in the Midwest Region.
St. Francis Speaker Series Invites Prospective Parents
Each year, Guidance and Counseling offers powerful speakers on relevant topics and welcomes prospective parents to attend the events. Scan the list and see what topics may make an impact with your family.
Exploring Ways to Restore, Replenish, and Refocus our Hearts and Minds: April 30, 8:00 a.m.
Our world is relentless and restless. What is the antidote when we feel uneasy, unquiet, and agitated? Explore ways to allow God to restore, replenish, and refocus our hearts and minds. By Diane Mercadante, Pastoral Minister at St. Francis High School
Call (630) 668-5800 for reservations
Class of 2023 Spartan Family Welcome Night
Information Session for Prospective Parents
Class of 2023 Proficiency Tests
8:30 a.m. Math
10:00 a.m. World Languages
Art Showcase Middle School Night, 6:00 p.m., Students may submit art in the Middle School category of SFHS's Juried Showcase
Email Mrs. Doane for details
Summer Camp Registration Now Open
Feast of St. Francis
We hope you enjoy our talented choir singing the prayer of St. Francis
Thanks for reading
St. Francis High School Fast Facts
CLASS OF 2018-
100% of graduates were accepted to colleges or universities
Earned $33 million in college scholarships
72% of faculty have advanced degrees
Class of 2018 average ACT score = 27
117 Full year and semester course offerings
20 Honors courses
14 Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses
CO-CURRICULAR: ACTIVITIES & ATHLETICS
98% student participation in at least one activity
24 sports programs
10th Place Division 2A State Math Team
65% of students participate in the performing arts
66% of students participate in athletic programs
Provides opportunity for prayer and worship, retreats, justice and service, ministry leadership formation, pastoral care, and community building
SFHS Bus Service
St. Francis High School offers bus transportation. The school provides two-way bus service in the northern, western and southern suburbs, with students arriving to St. Francis High School by 7:25 a.m. and departing school after the Activity Period at 3:15 p.m.
For more information, fees, route schedules or questions, please contact Bob Gorski at (630) 668-5800 x1138 or at