January 8, 2012
There's no denying the pain of the sweeping consolidation of Catholic schools recommended by a blue-ribbon commission. It was plainly visible on the tearful faces of schoolgirls leaving St. Hubert's Catholic High in Torresdale on Friday, and at so many other parish schools across the Philadelphia region. But it was inevitable, as new Archbishop Charles J. Chaput quickly acknowledged upon his arrival in September. In a pre-Christmas message, he wisely made that abundantly clear to his flock.
December 12, 2011 |
Catholic parishioners reacted with hope and concern Sunday to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's candid pastoral letter warning that 2012 could bring school and parish closings and harsh media coverage of the sex-abuse scandal. "It was very pastoral and very caring and not a whitewash," said Anne Visco, who heard the letter read at the 8 a.m. Mass at Christ the King in the Northeast. "He was not glossing over or dancing on one foot and then the other. " Francis Scallatino, a trumpet player who heard the letter at the 10 a.m. Mass at Christ the King, said, "The history of the church is to sweep these priests under the rug, but it doesn't sound like this guy is going do that.
September 26, 2011 |
The Rev. Eduardo Coll, pastor of St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in the Franklinville section of North Philadelphia, can name the nearby Catholic elementary schools that closed in recent years because of dropping enrollment and rising costs: St. Joan of Arc, St. Hugh of Cluny, St. Anne, and others. Coll and other dedicated supporters are determined to make sure St. Veronica's parish school, which has 200 students in kindergarten to eighth grade, escapes that fate. They have gone on the offensive, doing everything from recruiting students via Facebook to seeking contributions from business leaders.
June 8, 2011 |
Parents whose children attend two Catholic elementary schools in Delaware County were told Tuesday night that the schools would close because of declining enrollment. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Our Lady of Charity parish school in Brookhaven and St. Philomena parish school in Lansdowne would be shuttered at the end of the academic year. At Our Lady of Charity, which has 176 students, just 89 students had registered for the fall. Only 88 students had signed up for St. Philomena, which now has 141. With such low numbers, the average class would have had 10 or fewer students, officials said.
March 1, 2011 |
Jeff Hewitt of Kensington said his son has attended two Catholic schools in the past three years because of closures - and now he'll have to find him a third. His son's school, St. Anne's, on Tucker Street near Memphis, is one of seven archdiocesan schools that will close at the end of the academic year, the Office of Catholic Education said yesterday. "What am I paying for?" Hewitt asked angrily, holding a letter to parents from the St. Anne Alumni Association. "The alumni want us to be patient.
April 10, 2010 |
Two more Catholic schools will close in June, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Friday. St. Joseph in Collingdale and Stella Maris in South Philadelphia will shut down because of low enrollment, officials said in a statement. It is a familiar pattern across the region and around the country. Many Catholic schools are closing or merging as the church grapples with population shifts and lower Catholic birthrates. In the Philadelphia Archdiocese alone, five schools now will be shuttered at the end of this school year.
March 27, 2010 |
Two Roman Catholic elementary schools in Montgomery County will close in June because of declining enrollment. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, has accepted recommendations to shut the schools operated by the parishes of St. James in Elkins Park and Holy Martyrs in Oreland, The Inquirer has learned. The action, to be announced by the archdiocese on Monday, is the latest in a series of planned parish school closings and mergers throughout the region caused by rising costs and changing demographics, including population shifts and lower birthrates among Catholics.
April 1, 2009 |
The attic above Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School is covered in dust and dirt, the wood floor sinks underfoot, and most of the walls have holes punched in where the staff went looking for old pipes. But when the school's principal, Sister Dolores Egner, looks at the space, she sees arts and science classrooms, reading labs, and space for the school's ballroom-dancing team to practice and perform. Because of a partnership with design students at Philadelphia University, Sister Egner's vision for the North Philadelphia school could see nails and hammers as early as this summer.
March 6, 2009 |
Declining enrollment is causing another Philadelphia Catholic elementary school to close. St. Bernard School in the Northeast, whose enrollment would have decreased 40 percent in three years, will close in June. Cardinal Justin Rigali approved the pastor's recommendation to close the school at 7360 Jackson St., the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced yesterday. The recommendation was based in part on financial concerns of the parish, where Mass attendance has also fallen sharply.