Where relationship and belonging foster
a confident sense of self and
a healthy reliance on others
Founded in 2013 as a result of the creative vision of the Sisters of St. Casimir, the Maria Kaupas Center is a Catholic space where spirituality, community and leadership merge, creating opportunities for people of all faiths to grow and develop as effective agents of God's love.
The Maria Kaupas Center continues to be shaped by the mission and charism of the Sisters of St. Casimir, giving witness to the Gospel while responding to the needs of the community. A welcoming space for young people to come, as they are, to explore the world around them and within them, the MKC offers a wide range of daily activity. Access to various enrichment programs in the fine arts, martial arts, culinary arts and fitness allow for members to broaden and explore interests. The Center's rootedness in the Catholic Social Teachings of dignity and solidarity invite reflection on self and on relationship, building strong individuals and community.
Where it All Began
The Sisters of St. Casimir
Taking Root in Chicago Lawn
Casimira Kaupas arrives in the United States to work as a housekeeper for her brother, who is a priest.
The newly formed Sisters of St. Caimir welcomes its first three novices, including Sr. Maria, Sr. Concepta, and Sr. Immaculata.
Construction of the Motherhouse is completed. St. Casimir Academy opens with 21 students enrolled. St. Casimir Academy Accredited High School for Girls is also established.
Mother Maria is named the first General Superior of the Sisters of St. Casimir. She held this position until her death in 1940.
Our Educational Foundation
St. Casimir Academy and
Maria High School
Always More, Always Better, Always with Love
St. Casimir Academy, the co-ed grammar school, remained open until 1929. St. Casimir Academy Accredited High School for Girls continued.
A new high school is built and re-named Maria High School. It is dedicated on April 26, 1953.
The high school flourishes, offering an excellent education preparing women to lead, while imparting a love for community service.
A Timely Transition
Maria High School and
Catalyst-Maria Charter School
A New Approach
The Sisters of St. Casimir partner with the Catalyst Charter Network to ensure access to a quality, faith-based education in Chicago Lawn.
The Maria Kaupas Center is opened in the former convent space to serve as campus partner and to maintain a Catholic presence on the campus.
Having shared space with Catalyst Maria Charter School for its final year, Maria High School celebrates its final commencement.
Our Mission Today
Maria Kaupas Center
Catalyst Maria and the MKC work to establish themselves and work collaboratively in service to the 1,100 students and their families.
The MKC continues to clarify its response to the needs of the community, establishing a robust after-school program for elementary scholars and a more casual teen center for high school scholars.
Restorative Justice is incorporated into MKC programs, as well as into the school. Due to successful outcomes, in 2018, the MKC staff is contracted to provide RJ services to the school full-time.
The MKC continues to listen to the community and its young people to provide needed and valued program opportunities.
The Board of Directors of the Maria Kaupas Center is responsible for the governance and oversight of the mission of the MKC and currently has nine members. The following is a list of its members:
Rita Gallagher, President
Jason Schulz, Vice President
Sr. Immacula Wendt, Treasurer
Sr. Margaret Zalot, Secretary
Jeff Bartow, Member
Gina Ciabattari, Member
Sr. Regina Maria Dubickas, Member
Michael Fehrenbach, Member
Manny Jimenez, Member
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The graduates of St. Casimir Academy and Maria High School are a strong, spirit-filled group of women, continuing the mission of the Sisters "always more, always better, always with love" in all corners of the world.
The Southwest Organizing Project’s (SWOP) mission is to build a broad-based organization of faith institutions, local schools and other institutions in Southwest Chicago, which will enable families to exercise common values, determine their own future and connect with each other to improve life in their neighborhoods.