Dear Saint Patrick – Emmett Browne ’19
Dear Saint Patrick,
Four years ago, I walked into very familiar doors. This time as a student on my first day of high school. I remember getting out of my car feeling very nervous and anxious. When I approached the doors, that feeling of nerves quickly went away. Dr. Schmidt, Coach Lucas, Coach Fabrizio and other faculty members were all there to greet every student as we walked in. I felt a part of a family and it was as if I was walking into my second home.
5900 W. Belmont has always been a special place for my entire family. My father, Terry, graduated from St. Pat’s in 1980, and all of my brothers and I have followed his path. Patrick graduated in 2008, Marty in 2014, Connor in 2017, and I will graduate on May 21st at Holy Name Cathedral.
When Patrick decided to attend St. Pat’s that is when I started to learn what Shamrock Pride is all about. When Patrick was a freshman in 2005, I started to attend Coach Bailey’s famous basketball camp every summer. From then on, I spent my Friday nights during the school year going to football games at Hanson Stadium and some of the basketball games, too. The sense of family and pride exhibited at those games made me want to be a Shamrock.
As a freshman, I joined the football team and learned the definition of hard work and Brotherhood. We did everything together including going on a team trip to Mankato, Minnesota this year and sleeping at school for camp week. And even though we spent hours on a cramped bus and slept on a gym floor, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. I am thankful to my coaches and teammates for being a part of such an amazing team and for teaching me everything that cannot be taught in a classroom. Being a part of the Student “Stud” Section for four years were also some of the best moments. One particular game will always stick with me. The Stud Section filled the whole bottom bleacher and showed true pride, as we played and beat Notre Dame. I still get chills thinking about the time the whole student body sang “Hey Baby” at the end of the third quarter. Singing the fight song at the end of every game is special.
Finally, St. Pat’s also helped me grow as a student. From English to Math, I am fully prepared for my next journey to college. I also took advantage of the extra programs. Spanish Club taught me about different cultures around the world and current events. I was involved in the Student Mentoring program so I could help freshman make their transition to high school easier. Being a leader on Kairos was one of the best experiences I had at SPHS. I was able to learn so much more about my brothers and have grown stronger friendships since. I am thankful for the opportunities I had in getting involved and for the friends I have met in these experiences.
I walked in freshman year standing 5’4 and weighing 120 pounds. Although I have grown physically, I have really grown mentally. Academically, I have been taught so much because of the phenomenal teachers I have had. They make learning fun for the students. In the classroom, I have learned a lot academically but my teachers have also taught me respect and morals I will keep with me for the rest of my life like giving a firm handshake and looking someone in the eye when they talk. Coach Guerra always pounded into our heads the importance of hard work, being on time, respect, and dedication. Hard work was forced upon us during football with the 6 a.m. weight lifting and long practices, but these lessons will stick with me forever. He had a saying that I will never forget. “Don’t spend the time, invest the time.” Because of his lessons, I will always give it my all. I am thankful to all my teachers, coaches, and staff for their teachings in and out of the classroom.
Although my time at this school is coming to a close, the relationships I have made our life-long. I was born and raised in Edison Park on the Far Northwest Side of Chicago. I attended Saint Patrick with three other kids from my grade school, St. Juliana. I always looked up to the Shamrocks that came before, and now I am so proud to call myself a Shamrock and graduate of Saint Patrick High School. I wasn’t really sure what the term “Brotherhood” meant until I attended school here but now I know the Brotherhood at St. Pat’s is as strong as it gets. I have become very close friends with men from every corner of the Chicagoland area. Everyone is always talking to each other and always have one another’s back. I am grateful to be a part of the Shamrock family.
Next year, I will be attending the University of Dayton where I will be rooming with another Shamrock. While I am very sad to say goodbye, I am grateful for the memories and thankful for the lessons learned. To my classmates, I am so proud to be a part of the Class of 2019. The memories and bonds we have created over the years will be in my heart forever. To the teachers and staff, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and treating me like I was your own son. To Saint Patrick High School, thank you for the best four years of my life. You have prepared me for future success in my life and I am forever in debt to the building that stands at the corner of Austin and Belmont.
See you soon,
Emmett Browne ‘19