Posted on July 5, 2019 · Posted in Academic News, General, News, Press Release

St. Laurence High School recently announced the recipients of the Chicago Gaelic Park Irish Heritage Scholarship.

Rising seniors Mary Kate Sjostrom (Canaryville, St. Gabriel) and Vincent Rio (Mount Greenwood, Cassell) were selected as recipients in the award’s inaugural year at St. Laurence. Sjostrom is a member of the National Honor Society and maintains a 4.14 grade point average in the advanced placement track at St. Laurence. Rio, who has a 3.43 grade point average, is a four-year member of the varsity Viking lacrosse team.

“We are proud to partner with Chicago Gaelic Park and applaud their commitment to Catholic education,” said St. Laurence Vice President of Institutional Advancement Bob Hogan. “The Congregation of Christian Brothers, founded by Blessed Edmund Rice in Ireland in 1802, has been a stalwart of secondary education in this area for generations. We are pleased and humbled that Gaelic Park has recognized our tradition of excellence and has chosen to step forward to support our students at this critical time. Congratulations to Mary Kate and Vincent, both of whom are great representatives of what it means to be a St. Laurence student.”

The mission of the award is to support the advancement of education in Gaelic Park’s greater community. Award winners have exemplary academic and disciplinary records, demonstrate financial need, aspire to continue their academic pursuits after graduation and are involved in school or community related activities. Additionally, preference is given to students of Irish American heritage.

“We decided to establish these scholarships at St. Laurence because it is clearly a school that is dedicated to providing access to a quality, Catholic education to a diverse group of young men and women from all across the Southland,” said Gaelic Park Board Member Brendan Houlihan. “As the school was founded by the Irish Christian Brothers in 1961, it is also an appropriate way to recognize and celebrate our Irish heritage, something very important to the mission of Chicago Gaelic Park.”

The mission of Chicago Gaelic Park is to preserve and promote the culture and heritage of Ireland, including the Irish national games, music, dance, language and theater. Located in Oak Forest, Illinois, Gaelic Park is a banquet facility that caters to weddings, meetings and parties. Irish Fest is held annually on Memorial Weekend.

Pictured from left to right: Gaelic Park Board Member Brendan Houlihan, St. Laurence seniors Vincent Rio and Mary Kate Sjostrom and Gaelic Park Board Member Barney Farrelly.