Today, numerous railroads and highways of interstate, US, state, and local designations bring people
together in the city on a daily basis, as does air traffic at O'Hare and Midway Airports. Chicago is a melting pot of people
from many nationalities, making it ethnically diverse, and thus, is referred to as "the cultural, economic, and financial
capital of the Midwest" (according to Wikipedia).
Like three other Catholic high schools on Chicago's South Side, Unity High School
was an all-girls' school that had to close its doors in 1980. But closing doors and to undergo a change was nothing new
for Unity, given its history.
It all started back in 1905 when Loretto Academy (an all-girls' school) opened its doors in the Woodlawn neighborhood as a grade and high school that served
both day and boarding students. That lasted until 1925 when the grade school was discontinued, and then boarding students
stopped in 1933 during the Great Depression. Right before the grade schoolers stopped coming to Loretto, Mercy High School opened its doors to girls in 1924, and did so for the next 48 years.
In 1972, both Mercy and Loretto merged to become Unity at the Mercy site, at the urging of the superintendent
of schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago at the time, Rev. Robert Clark. Unity's intial enrollment was around
800 when it first opened, but continued to drop to 400 in the fall of 1979.
In the spring of 1980, Unity along with Aquinas, St. Thomas the Apostle, and Visitation were told by the Archdiocese of Chicago that their schools were going to close, but the foursome became
two schools with the formation of Aquinas Catholic (for Aquinas and Visitation students) and Unity Catholic (Unity and St.
Thomas the Apostle students) to form the VAUT Corporate System.
The financial situation only worsened after the schools merged as Aquinas Catholic closed in 1983, and Unity
Catholic closed in 1988. Unity's closure was tied to the formation of another new school, St. Martin de Porres, when Unity, Mendel Catholic, and Willibrord Catholic came together. That arrangement only lasted until 1997 when St. Martin de Porres was
Unity Catholic alumnae Jacquelyn Foster tells us the former Unity High School building
was razed some years ago. Today, the site that was Unity High now entertains residential living space. If you have
a photo you can share of the Unity High School building in its prime, please forward it to us so we can share it on this