War was looming in Europe and the Far East. America was involved when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Most of the boys who completed high school went directly into the military to serve their country. Many never came back. Msgr. Mulcahey (1938- 1954) must have dreaded the sound of his doorbell for fear that it would be Western Union delivering another sorrowful telegram about one of his boys.
During the war, the children at St. Mary’s did their part by collecting scrap metal and holding paper drives to help the war effort. After the war, they collected clothing and non perishable food items for those who were destitute in Europe and the Far East.
Also, in Msgr. Mulcahey’s tenure, the “yellow jackets” were introduced to the children. So called because of the jackets they wore, these were young men from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. They spent their summers with the St. Mary’s children either at the summer camp on Fox Lake in Wisconsin or on the grounds in Des Plaines, supervising the children and talking them on excursions.
In 1950 an election was held – the children were asked to rename their home. It was felt that St. Mary’s Training School was too institutional and dated. The new name was Maryville Academy. When asked where they went to school, the reply was “Maryville Academy”; when asked where they lived the response was “Maryville, City of Youth” a term that had first been used on a 1946 WGN Radio broadcast, “Citizens of Tomorrow” featuring children from St. Mary’s.
An indoor pool was added adjacent to the gym in 1951, a gift from Fred Snite, the businessman who years earlier had donated a bus to St. Mary’s for transporting the children to camp, on outings and carried the athletic teams and the band to their respective competitions.
Maryville’s population was just over 700 in 1952. The prosperity following World War II saw a decreasing need for institutions like Maryville. Despite the shrinking population, deficits for Maryville kept growing and Catholic Charities picked up the slack.
Monsignor Eugene Mulcahey left his St. Mary’s – now Maryville – in 1954.