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Celebration of a ‘Living Legend’ honoring Jack Malarkey is scheduled for April 30

Plans are underway to honor retired Marian Catholic High School Principal John P. Malarkey at a reception on April 30 at Marian Catholic High School.

Dubbed “The Celebration of a Living Legend,” the reception will be a continuance of the Nov. 2, 2020, event when Father Allen Hoffa, Head of School, announced the naming of the school’s historic gymnasium, the John P. “Jack” Malarkey Gymnasium.

“All successful institutions have people who are pillars of their foundation and giants endeared to the heart of many. For Marian Catholic, Jack Malarkey is an icon, pillar, giant and friend. As teacher, vice principal, principal, booster, parent and grandparent, Jack has been an integral part of the fabric and family that is Marian Catholic,” Hoffa said.

Jack is a 1951 graduate of St. Jerome’s High School, one the four predecessor high schools of Marian, and is the parent of three MCHS graduates (John ’83, Jim ’84 and Joseph ’95) and the grandfather of three Marian graduates (Ryan ’16, Rhiannon ’19 and John ’21).

Proceeds from the April 30 reception will bring some needed improvements to “Jack’s House,” focused on gymnasium renovations and the ability for future students to receive a Catholic and Marian education. The goal of this initiative is to raise at least $150,000 for the gymnasium renovation and to establish a full-endowed scholarship in the name of Jack and his wife, Jane.

“The gymnasium renovation prioritizes the removal and replacement of the original bleachers with state-of-the-art and safe bleachers, updating of the historic championship banners with new vinyl banners that tell our story, and other structural elements that will help the John P. “Jack” Malarkey Gymnasium shine! Once we have reached the goal amount for the gymnasium renovation, the additional funds collected will be used to establish the John and Jane Malarkey Scholarship Fund at Marian Catholic High School,” said Patrick Reilly, president of the Marian Catholic High School Board of Directors and a member of the planning committee.

The reception on April 30 will give the many people who love Jack and have been affected by his life at Marian Catholic the opportunity to say, “Thank You,” said Bill O’Gurek ’73, president of the school’s growing Alumni Association.

Opportunities for sponsorships of the event are available from $5,000 (which includes 10 reception tickets) to $100 (which includes one event ticket). Invitations to over 5,200 alumni, current parents, parents of alumni and friends of Marian across the country were mailed last week.

The committee is also offering full page ($500), half page ($250), quarter page ($125) and congratulatory ads ($50) to be part of a four-color, printed commemorative program book celebrating Jack’s 37-year relationship with Marian Catholic High School.

Former Principal the Rev. Monsignor Edward J. Sacks and former Vice Principal the Rev. Joseph T. Whalen are serving as honorary reception chairs for the event, both having served when Jack Malarkey was vice principal and principal, respectively.

Members of the Honorary Reception Committee include all of the living priests in the Diocese of Allentown who are Marian graduates: the Rev. Monsignor Thomas Baddick, ’73; the Rev. Giuseppe Esposito, ’00; the Rev. John Hilferty, ’70; the Rev. Martin Kern, ’86; the Rev. David Kozak, ’74; the Rev. Monsignor John J. Martin, ’64; the Rev. Monsignor John McCann, ’77; the Rev. Monsignor Thomas J. Orsulak, ’80; the Rev. Monsignor Stephen Radocha, ’69; the Rev. Eugene Ritz, ’00; the Rev. Philip Rodgers, ’73; the Rev. Monsignor Walter Scheaffer, ’56; the Rev. Michael Stone, ’64; the Rev. James Ward, ’64; the Rev. Monsignor Daniel Yenushosky, ’69; the Rev. Monsignor Vincent York, ’60; and the Rev. Monsignor Edward Zemanik, ’73.

Members of the Reception Leadership Committee include Bill ’76 and Janet Bonenberger, Bill “Angel” ’63 and Maureen Yorke ’64 Donovan, Larry Furey ’79, Leo Marzen ’79, Sister Rose Mulligan, IHM ’84, Bill O’Gurek ’73, Parent ’01, ’03 (and president of the Marian Alumni Association), Patrick Reilly, Parent ’98, ’02, ’11, Jim Sauka ’66, Parent ’93, ’94, ’96 and ’00; Lee Schilling ’57, Bruce ’76 and Terri Svetz ’77 Shickora, Parents ’03, ’04, ’08, Bruce Svetz ’83 and attorney Joe Velitsky ’62.

More information about the reception, The Celebration of a Living Legend, can be found at https://www.mariancatholichs.org/post/malarkey-celebration, or by contacting Kristine Evina, Director of Advancement at Marian Catholic High School at 570-467-3335, ext. 115, or at kevina@mariancatholichs.org.

“Given what we know now and informed by the guidance of state and local public health officials, we expect the event on April 30 for Jack and Jane Malarkey to take place in-person, in accordance with appropriate health and safety protocols. We believe at this time that we will be able to safely host this event - with some modifications, of course - for those who love Jack and who love Marian. As the date draws closer, we will assess the situation and keep you informed. At this time, we hope to be able to also welcome a limited number of guests for this celebration. We are also developing plans to offer our alumni all over the world and other guests the opportunity to be part of the celebration virtually as well,” Hoffa said.

John P. “Jack” Malarkey and his wife, Jane, during the surprise announcement in November that Marian Catholic High School is renaming the gym in the former principal's honor. FILE PHOTO