Local Schools

‘Shamrock’ event spotlights St. Patrick and longtime pastor

As part of St. Patrick School’s  “Reading Buddies” program, an 8th grade student ambassador reads two to three books each Tuesday to her small group of kindergartners. On Oct. 22, St. Patrick will host its inaugural Shamrocks for Scholarships, an event aimed at raising scholarships for students and honoring former pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Msgr. Michael Mullen. COURTESY PHOTO

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — “St. Pat’s sits across the street from some of the most incredible economic activity in the state,” said Matt Watkins, president of the St. Patrick School business team.

Watkins, like many fans of this school in Kansas City, Kansas, thinks it’s time for St. Patrick to be brought into the limelight.

Naming several major developments in the area like the Kansas Speedway, The Legends and the Homefield project, Watkins continued, “That all gets a lot of attention; but St. Pat’s is doing what it’s always done.

“Educating and helping with the futures of so many of these kids that are in the background.”

On Oct. 22, the light will indeed shine on St. Patrick when it hosts Shamrocks for Scholarships, an inaugural event raising scholarships for students and honoring former pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Msgr. Michael Mullen.

With a nod to the school’s Irish roots, Shamrocks for Scholarships will be an evening of fun, food and music held in the main garage of the Kansas Speedway in Village West.

“It’s a cool, unique space,” said St. Patrick parishioner Michael Morrisey. “The garages sit right next to the speedway so folks will be able to see it up close and personal.

“Victory lane sits right there.”

Morrisey and his wife Patty are helping facilitate this signature event.

“There will be a cocktail hour, and dinner with (Fiorella’s) Jack Stack Barbecue and MeMa’s Bakery,” he said. “There will be a short program during which Monsignor (Mullen) will be recognized.”

As pastor for more than 20 years, Msgr. Mullen has been a positive force in shaping the St. Patrick Parish community.

“He actually opened the doors at St. Patrick to the Spanish-speaking community and to the Burmese community,” said pastor Father Mark Mertes. “He didn’t start the school, but he had a powerful role in it.

“And he did start the ministry of outreach to the communities that are particularly supported at St. Patrick by the Catholic Education Foundation.”

A graduate of Bishop Ward High School, Msgr. Mullen has a long and rich history in Wyandotte County.

“He has an incredible story,” said Watkins. “And I can’t wait to hear him tell it for people who may not know how passionate he is about our county, the need here and what he’s done for that need.”

Throughout the evening, there will also be a silent auction and a school raffle with cash prizes.

“The families of the school kids will be selling tickets,” said Morrisey. “And those winners will be drawn that night.”

Guests will close out the evening being entertained by Liverpool: A Tribute to The Beatles, one of the most highly acclaimed tribute bands in the Midwest.

From mop-top hair and costumes to a vintage collection of instruments, the look, style and sound of The Beatles will come alive on stage.

The evening is a celebration of past achievements and a future pathway for students to receive a quality Catholic education.

With that end in mind, different levels of partnerships are available for purchase and going fast. (See below.)

“The partnerships are directed toward people who might be thinking about what charities or causes they want to support,” said Father Mertes. “We want to appeal to them because the gist of this event is to provide scholarships for kids who otherwise could not attend a Catholic school.”

Partners will be acknowledged for their support.

“There will be advertisements all through the night,” said Watkins. “We’re going to have multiple visibility opportunities for partnerships out in the community.

“We’re excited to help support those folks that are supporting us.”

But the real reward of a partnership lies in participation in the future success of St. Patrick School.

“It’s a great mission,” said Father Mertes. “It’s a great way to put our faith into action.

“It’s a gift that bears spiritual dividends and lifelong, generational blessings for families.”

About Shamrocks for Scholarships

Date: Oct. 22
Place: Kansas Speedway
Time: 6 – 10 p.m.
Honoring Msgr. Michael Mullen
Featuring Liverpool: A Beatles Tribute Band

Partnership levels range from $1,000 to $25,000 and come with tickets and benefits outlined on the Shamrock for Scholarships event page at: stpatrickkck.org/event-page-shamrocks-for-scholarships-1.

Partnerships are going fast. Depending on availability, the event will be open to single ticket purchases in late September.

If you can’t make the event, you can still donate to support the cause and honor Msgr. Mullen.

About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

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