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Why I Chose Saint Patrick: Jack Owens

As high school approached, the Owens family was faced with the challenge of continuing Jack’s current path or enrolling him in a smaller, private school that would offer him the academic challenge he was accustomed to, while strengthening his faith in God. Ultimately, the family decided that St. Pat’s, with its smaller class sizes in a more intimate setting, was the best fit for him. As a sophomore, the family is happy to see Jack continue to be challenged in his Honors classes and thrive in the environment.

Here is why the Owens family chose Saint Patrick in their own words.

Several people had an influential role in the decision for Jack to attend St. Pat’s. His initial exposure was the Shamrock Hockey team and every one of the guys on the team, from freshmen to seniors to coaches, spoke proudly of St Pat’s and made Jack feel welcome. This was very important to Jack, as he wanted to continue playing the sport he loved at the high school level. Jack entered St. Pat’s as one of eleven Class of 2022 Shamrock hockey players, giving him a Brotherhood within The Brotherhood.

Brian O’Connor and Mike Fabrizio, the Admissions team, were another huge influence in Jack becoming a Shamrock as they individually and collectively made him aware of upcoming events, Open Houses, Shadow Days, big games, and all things St Pat’s. Hearing about the history of St. Pat’s from his Papa, Richard Smith, a 1956 alum, made Jack even more interested while meeting a wider group of students, learning about St. Pat’s many academic programs, as well as meeting the faculty and staff during his Shadow Day, sealed the deal for him.

The community feeling that we as a family have experienced at St. Pat’s is not surprising, but it is more than anybody could ever imagine. When Jack had a brief health scare in the middle of freshmen year, the outpouring of support and Brotherhood was incredible. Classmates, teachers, coaches, counselors, and the Leadership Team all made sure we knew that St. Pat’s was thinking about Jack, supporting him, and asking the Lord to get him, and our family, through this time.

Our family knew many St. Pat’s alums prior to Jack enrolling, but it seems like since he has become a Shamrock, everywhere we go, we encounter members of Shamrock Nation. The pride seen in alums at St. Pat’s sporting events, Open House, theater events, fundraisers, and in the general community is contagious. There is something for everyone at St Pat’s. The wide-ranging academic programs and opportunities, strong athletic teams, clubs, and Brotherhood offered are hard to match. It is the oldest all-male Catholic High School in Chicago for a reason; because of the young men it produces.

When Jack started talking about his interest in St. Pat’s, it gave him and his Papa more things to talk about and bond over. Jack enjoyed hearing stories of what St. Pat’s was like “back in the day.” Recently Jack learned from his paternal Grandfather, Dominick Owens, that shortly after immigrating to Chicago from Ireland, one of his first jobs in construction was hanging blackboards in the new Saint Patrick High School at Belmont & Austin. Jack shared this story with Dr. Schmidt the next day. Since his Grandpa was in town for a family visit, Dr. Joe invited him and Jack’s Grandma for a tour of the campus. Even though there are really no blackboards left in the school, they did find one! Dr. Schmidt’s hospitality was overwhelming, and his pride in Saint Patrick High School, and all its students, is amazing.

Jack is very proud that both of his grandfathers have a connection to St Pat’s – and we are equally proud to keep that tradition alive!

To learn more about Saint Patrick High School, visit us at our Fall Open Houses on Thursday, October 24 and Thursday, November 14 from 6-8 pm. There are also opportunities to be a Shamrock for a Day by scheduling a Shadow Day.

To read more Why I Chose Saint Patrick stories from current Shamrock families, go to: Why I Chose Saint Patrick and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

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