Dear Saint Patrick – John Mulcrone ’18
Dear Saint Patrick,
As I progressed through the college application process, I encountered many similar writing prompts. Many of them asked me to write about a place, community, or group that is important to me and that I feel passionately about. Whenever I had one of these questions, it was an easy decision. I was writing about Saint Patrick.
At first, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go in 8th grade. However, my parents and I did the research and we decided on Saint Patrick. The Open Houses and Shadow Days were great, but the thing that really got me excited about being a Shamrock was seeing the reverence and excitement with which alumni, parents, and friends of Saint Patrick talked about the place. I remember getting a note from my dad’s uncle, Mick Mulcrone, who graduated from Saint Patrick in 1968. He was so excited and proud that I was becoming a “Patsman,” and he told me it was about time that there was another John Mulcrone at the school referring to my grandfather who graduated in 1958.
I played basketball for four years at Saint Patrick, and it has given me some of the best moments and friendships of my life. I got to play for a Hall of Famer in Coach Bailey, and over these years I have been part of a conference champion, competed with and beaten some of the top teams in the state, and been on a team ranked in the top 10 in the Chicagoland area. We got to play in front of the Stud Section, who have been referred to as “the Cameron Crazies of high school basketball,” on the road and at home. I will never forget celebrating with my classmates and teammates on Kurland Court after upsetting ninth ranked Benet on Alumni Night my junior year. Nor will I forget Pat Foley, Chicago Blackhawks play-by-play man, storming into the locker room after we beat eleventh ranked Marian Catholic at the buzzer and jumping around with us. Beating Notre Dame on the road to end our senior season was one of the most memorable days of my life. As a kid on the Northwest Side who grew up around the rivalry, winning that game was a really cool moment. However, all of those on court moments pale in comparison to the memories and friendships I have made with my teammates. We had guys from everywhere, from Rogers Park to Edison Park to Nigeria. The hours we spent sitting in our locker room, eating as a team, going to summer leagues, working out, and studying together only made winning that much more fun.
As a junior, I went on a Kairos Retreat. It was an awesome experience that taught me a lot about myself and my classmates. As a senior, I got the opportunity to experience Kairos all over again, this time as a leader. Saint Patrick does a great job of giving us opportunities to deepen our relationship with our classmates and with our faith. The teachers and faculty in charge of these retreats sacrifice so much of their own time and energy to ensure that the retreatants have a great experience just as I did.
I had some incredible teachers over my time at Saint Patrick. Some of the most important things we learned from them had little to do with the curriculum. The discussions our teachers would lead about current events in the wake of major happenings in the world were always lively and passionate and taught us to appreciate other points of view. Mr. Craine always encouraged us to recognize our own biases and how they influence our thoughts, whether we realize it or not. Mr. Doyle showed us the influence of the written word throughout history, and how literature can change with the times. Mr. Dougherty always told us to question everything, no matter how difficult the topic. Our teachers encouraged us to be involved, not just at Saint Patrick but in our communities and in the world.
As my senior year has been coming to an end, I have been thinking about what the most impactful part of my time at Saint Patrick has been. Without a doubt, it has been my classmates. The friendships made over these last few years will be cherished for a lifetime. While the word Brotherhood gets thrown around quite a bit nowadays, it is alive and well at Saint Patrick. The hardest part about graduating will be not seeing all of these friendly faces every single day.
Next year, I will be attending Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Leaving my home and going away for the first time will be difficult, but I know Saint Patrick has prepared me well. I would not be where I am today without all of the great people I have crossed paths with at this school. To all of the teachers, coaches, counselors, and staff at Saint Patrick: thank you for everything. Everyone at this school has been nothing but great to me, and has been ready and willing to lend me a hand whenever I asked. Your kindness and selflessness has truly meant the world to me. To my fellow students: thank you for all of the rides, homework help, advice, and friendship. You guys are what make this school a truly special place. To Saint Patrick High School: thank you for everything. It was an awesome four years.
John Mulcrone ‘18