Mission & History

Marist High School Chicago Mission Statement:
The Mission of Marist High School as a Roman Catholic, coed high school, is to make Jesus Christ known and loved in the Marist Brothers’ tradition, while preparing students for higher education and life.

1661880001-0149In 1962, Albert Cardinal Meyer requested the Marist Brothers to come to Chicago and oversee the planning, construction, and staffing of a new high school on the southwest side of the city.  On November 6 of that year Brother Pius Lyons arrived in Chicago to oversee the founding of the new school, and on June 3, 1963, groundbreaking ceremonies were held.  To the astonishment of many, Brother Pius was able to open the school on September 9, 1963.  Seven Marist Brothers arrived on September 6 and began school for the three hundred and twenty freshmen who were enrolled. 

A debt of gratitude is owed to the original Brothers, students, and parents who were the early pioneers in building the foundation of Marist. The school has thrived over the last fifty-six years, and now boasts more than 25,000 alumni. Through the years, Marist has developed an innovative and demanding college preparatory curriculum that serves Chicago-area and suburban students at all academic levels, while keeping its Catholic identity at the forefront of its mission. A point of pride for Marist is serving students of varying abilities, and thus, offers three academic tracks with robust support services.

One of the most significant changes for the school was its transition to a coed enrollment during the 2002-2003 school year, with the first coed class graduating in 2006. This change opened the doors for thousands of families in the community and truly made Marist a place where young men and women are formed in faith, in a family atmosphere with an eye on the future.

Over the course of 55 years, Marist has made significant capital improvements and additions that have provided more classrooms, a theater, computer labs, new and improved athletic facilities and more. An executive business suite was added in 2015 to support the school’s growing entrepreneurial curriculum.  That same year, the school added a digital design studio and expanded the Mortimer Fitness Center. In 2016, the journalism center was renovated, while a studio for the school’s new broadcast program was added. The school has truly been transformed from its original marshland landscape into a premier 55-acre campus with modern amenities for today’s students.

In May 2018, ground was broken for the Faith in the Future Campaign, which included the transformation of the original Brothers’ monastery into a 10-lab science with a planetarium dome. The space, now named Monastery Hall, opened in August 2019, affording students unmatched facilities and science curriculum.

Academically, Marist graduates have gone on to top universities across the nation and achieved success in a variety of industries. Being at the forefront of technology has always been a pillar of the school, and during the 2014-15 school year Marist implemented a one-to-one iPad technology program that focuses on collaborative learning and supports the dedicated teachers who staff three different college-prep programs.

Marist co-curricular programs have a strong history. Starting from the school’s early days and throughout its membership in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, Marist athletic teams have been consistently successful, garnering accolades and media attention on the local, state, and national level. A special accomplishment is that both the girls’ and boys’ volleyball teams won the state title during the 2018-19 school year—a first for any school in Illinois. The school also boasts nearly 40 clubs and activities. Service, faith, travel and co-curricular opportunities expand annually to provide students with skill building, leadership skills, cultural awareness, and spiritual development.

Above all, the past fifty-five years have been a journey in faith, family, and service for the school. The opportunity for young men and women to grow spiritually and live out the mission of the school by serving others has always been the guiding principle at Marist. From a long-standing senior service outreach program today serving 18 local organizations to service projects in the community to national and international mission trips, Marist continues to serve “the least favored.”

Marist High School is poised for continued growth in all aspects of school life, and looks to be the leader in Catholic secondary education for “time and eternity.”