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Dear Saint Patrick – John O’Rourke ’19

Dear Saint Patrick,

Before I even shadowed or went to an Open House at Saint Patrick High School I knew it was the place for me. All the males in my family have always gone to Saint Patrick. My mind was made up around the age of ten that I was going to be a Shamrock. Around that time my brother was at St. Pat’s and I went to one of the home basketball games. That was when I witnessed the most exciting atmosphere I have ever seen. After the game I told my Dad that I could not wait to be a Shamrock.

Going to Saint Mary of the Woods in Wildwood I was one of two kids from my grade school who went to St. Pat’s. This terrified me at the time, but as soon as I showed up to the first summer football practice I was accepted. I had a whole team that I was proud enough to call my brothers.

Brotherhood. That word is said every day at Saint Patrick. To me the Brotherhood was shown at its best during football. In football, we took kids from all over the city of Chicago and learned to play as one single thriving organism. I would like to say thank you to Coach Adam Guerra and the rest of the football coaching staff for making this happen. He taught us so much more than football. He taught us that being late for practice or morning lifts is completely unacceptable and did not allow this. Whenever one person was late, the whole team was punished by up-downs or bear crawls. This taught us to always lean on one another even when things aren’t going your way.

Through the rigorous Honors tract I was placed in, I learned that if you are struggling in any class there are countless teachers and students who are always there to help you along the way. I cannot put a number on how many times I went in before or after school to talk to Mrs. Fiorante about the homework from the night before or the lesson that we did in class that day. Even though I was struggling, she was always willing to help me even if it meant her getting home later than she would have liked.

Freshman year at Saint Patrick I was not as mature as I would have liked to have been. However, as the years went on, I learned that maturity does not come at the snap of a finger. Maturity comes from being a polite and genuine person, not just to your teachers or administration, but to every student at the school. After being a leader on the 57th Kairos, I was shown that you can never judge a book by its cover. I learned that everyone is different and that is okay. Being different is what makes the Brotherhood.

Leaving Saint Patrick is going to be bittersweet for me because I know that it has definitely prepared me for the future not only in school but also in life. Saint Patrick has taught me how to become the man that everyone strives to be. It is also very sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful school and environment. I’m going to miss walking in those doors on 5900 W Belmont every day.


John (Jack) O’Rourke

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5900 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60634