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Brotherhood Week – Testimonial #6 (Oscar de Leon ’18)

At St. Pat’s “Brotherhood” is interpreted in different ways. Some people don’t necessarily feel the Brotherhood immediately, but most people are fortunate to experience it right away. I had the pleasure of experiencing Brotherhood on my first day of school, when a fellow freshmen shook my hand and introduced himself. Seeing a peer warmly welcoming me like he was already comfortable with me was just the start of my experience with Brotherhood.

Over the past four years, my peers and teachers at St. Pat’s have done loving things for me that my friends from other schools, and even my family, couldn’t do. These types of experiences are Brotherhood in action. For me, Brotherhood is alive in the jazz band, in the classroom, and of course outside of school.

Certainly, not everyone experiences Brotherhood like this. There have been plenty of times when I myself felt that Brotherhood was a lie. Within these walls, things have happened and there have been times where I felt abandoned and alone. But those are times of the past. For me, the Brotherhood is alive.

Despite the bad times I’ve had at St. Pats, I kept investing myself in what the school had to offer. In the things I invested my time in – theater, jazz band, AP courses, and even the swim team – I have found my brothers. I believe what is preached here, which is that we’re all brothers. Having an older brother, I can understand why a lot of people don’t believe this. We argue a lot, get mad, but at the end of the day we’re still brothers. Same situation here. We’re not actual brothers by blood, but brothers by community.

A teacher once told me something like this: “St. Pat’s is a place where you share your laughs and your tears.” That to me is true Brotherhood, which at its most basic, is true community. Those who invest themselves at St. Pat’s, like I did, will experience what is the Brotherhood. Those who don’t are in the shadows and can’t truly experience this wonder. That doesn’t make them any less of a Shamrock. We’re all Shamrocks, and we’re all brothers. Over the years, St. Pat’s taught me that even when times get rough, St. Pat’s can be a place for Brotherhood if you make it one.

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