The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

We Are Family

How the Cathedral family is the center of the McNulty family and their journey See other document for four pictures.
“The McNulty family at the dedication of the cross in October 2006. Front row, from left: Jason McClellan 98, Kristin McNulty-McClellan 98, Jacque McNulty 78 and Patrick McNulty 08. Back row, from left: Brad McNulty 01 and Jerry McNulty 76. 17 years later, the cross still shows Stephen’s legacy and love. 
“The McNulty family at the dedication of the cross in October 2006. Front row, from left: Jason McClellan ’98, Kristin McNulty-McClellan ’98, Jacque McNulty ’78 and Patrick McNulty ’08. Back row, from left: Brad McNulty ’01 and Jerry McNulty ’76. 17 years later, the cross still shows Stephen’s legacy and love. (

Family, a Core value that is crucial to Cathedral, was chosen for the 2023-24 school year. Family has shaped the McNulty family and their appreciation for their journey on the Hill. Jacque McNulty, a longtime Cathedral family member, spends her time fulfilling a mission to carry out the legacy of her son, Stephen McNulty, ‘06. 

Stephen tragically passed away during his senior year, just three weeks after attending his senior retreat. Following his passing, Jacque felt called to continue his legacy in impactful ways, most notably through leading senior retreats and the creation of the Legacy Cross. 

Jacque said that following his senior retreat, Stephen had “reconnected with God and he totally and completely felt like he was a part of the family.”

Stephen was known on and off the Hill for being a caring, creative and compassionate teenager. During his time at Cathedral, Stephen immersed himself in a variety of art classes, which allowed him to develop relationships with those in the Cathedral Art Department. 

Mrs. Jodi Monroe, current admissions counselor, had previously spent 20 years in the Art Department, where she formed a close relationship with Stephen, despite never having him in her own class. Monroe assisted in the development and creation of the Legacy Cross, which sits in the middle of the courtyard on campus. 

Monroe said, “At the time when he passed away, he wasn’t in my class. He took art classes across the board, but at the time when he passed away, he was actually in ceramics. Art was a huge piece of his life in general. I believe he used it as an outlet, a way to fill this bucket, so to speak. For many kids that are in the arts, it is a lifeline for their creativity, a means to express themselves. They find success in it and I think there’s a sense of belonging within the arts, and that’s still true today.” 

The Legacy Cross moves through the courtyard on a crane. A project full of so much love, finished in the summer following Stephen’s passing. Now, the cross stands in the same place 17 years later.
Submitted by Jacque McNulty

His passion and legacy was the contributor to begin the construction and design process of the cross. The McNulty family, along with the greater Indianapolis community, Jodi Monroe, artists from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), Stephen’s previous art teachers and the Cathedral family began to make their dreams a reality. The cross, which is a centerpiece to our campus, was carefully chiseled and created with Indiana limestone donated by the IMA. Monroe’s class was designated with the job to help design the Legacy Cross.

“When (Stephen) died, his art teacher, Sibby, whom he adored, reached out to my family and said she had this idea that she wanted to create a huge cross on Cathedral’s campus and she wanted it to just stand profound, so that when people came up the Hill, it is right there. And now, it is such a huge part of our campus,” Jacque said, “our goal was to make it beautiful for the entire Cathedral family to appreciate.” 

Jacque graduated from  Our Lady of Grace Academy in 1978 and her husband, Jerry McNulty from Cathedral High School in 1976. Jerry McNulty ’76, created an account after his passing and asked people to donate to the Stephen Kyle McNulty (SKM) endowment fund at Cathedral. This funding and Sibby’s idea led to this creation, and also helps provide tuition assistance for students at Cathedral.

 They then began collaborating with the IMA and Izzo, the sculptor who created the cross. For the McNulty family, Izzo said, “He would make it beautiful. Not just for mine, but the whole Cathedral family,” according to Jacque. 

Construction began in the summer of 2006. Community members from all around joined their family as Izzo taught them how to chisel and carve out the cross. McNulty said, “When you are creating something like that and you are using your hammers and your chisels, you can actually hear a little bit of a musical sound, and we did. Again… family.”

Jacque McNulty and Kristin McNulty ‘98 pose as the crane escorts the cross to the site. Jacque and Kristin are joined by many as the project is completed. Kristin graduated from Cathedral High School in 1998, as did many other members in the McNulty family.
Submitted by Jacque McNulty

The name of the Legacy Cross comes from the idea that all students at Cathedral who pass during their time on the Hill, are able to be honored for their own legacy as well. The cross holds a storyboard with every student’s name who has died. Since the completion of the Legacy Cross, three new names have tragically been added. 

Jacque noted how she did not anticipate having to do this. She said upon completion, “Oh this will be awesome, we will never have to update that board. We have now updated it three times.” The storyboard also includes the names of generous donors who have aided in the Legacy Cross. 

Monroe described this process as, “a powerful, very moving experience. To be a part of something that will be around forever was incredibly humbling.” The idea of a cross was created as it “points us back to our faith,” she said. 

“I think it is important to see how humble and gracious the McNulty family has served the Cathedral family for so many years, through hardship, but also through good times. Through all of that, they have been so faithful to our faith and faithful to our Cathedral family,” Monroe said. 

Following Stephen’s time on senior retreat, Jacque became a senior retreat leader. She is “reminded of him and his gifts on every retreat.” She continues to “give back to the people who were there for her.” Since her first retreat in April 2007, McNulty has led six retreats a year, with the exception of missing four. 

The Legacy Cross will continue to stand on campus as a reminder to students of their own legacy, and the impact they make to the Cathedral family. Jacque plans to continue to live out his legacy through leading senior retreats and sharing their story. 

The Legacy Cross stands beautifully in the courtyard on the night of Dec. 9. The cross was completed in the summer of 2006, a project fulfilled with love and family at the center. Students can see the cross on Cathedral’s campus at any time.

Jacque said, “For me, you know, Jerry went to Cathedral and graduated in 76. I went to Grace and graduated 78. Cathedral has always been so important to us. All four of our kids went and we’ve always thought so highly of it. But now when I look back at how they did this not only for my family, but for so many other families. It just exemplifies the meaning of the word family. They are always there for you. They’ve always been there for me.”

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About the Contributor
Caroline Schilling
Caroline Schilling, Executive Editor
Caroline Schilling is the Megaphone Executive Editor and a Cathedran photographer. She has been on Megaphone staff since her freshman year. Caroline is a member of the Class of 2024. Also at Cathedral, she is a girls basketball manager and is heavily involved in KassieKares.

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    LeeAnn AndrewsFeb 12, 2024 at 9:12 PM

    A beautiful family who shares their time, talent and treasure with their family and the Cathedral family. Their losses, though unthinkable to most, have brought so many together. They are an inspiration….