Yesterday, it was announced that 24 schools in the Archdiocese of New York will be closing in June 2013. I am feel so sorry for all the families involved. It is hard on the school administration, faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni. My heart goes out to all involved. I know some of the people personally and even have been inside many of the schools.
Now that I am an educator connected to various schools and a board member of the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula, I see more clearly some of the big picture pieces connected to running a school. It is hugely expensive for upkeep, salaries and new innovations. I know finances is one of the reasons school have to close. Also sometimes the buildings are just too old and have not been well-maintained so it hard to keep the building going and putting in all the necessary technology and wiring needed for today. Plus sometimes there are too few students in the school that is too difficult to have an excellent academic program going on.
However, I also know that Catholic schools have a spirit of family, service, love and encouragment in each one of their buildings. That spirit is what makes each school so unique and so special to all who have entered the doors. So when it is "your" school, it is hard to see it close. I wish things could be different for all involved.
I pray today for all those affected by these Catholic schools closing and for all students in Catholic schools around the world. Many say Catholic schools have nourished their faith life. I hope the Catholic church can figure out some creative and engaging ways to keep the faith life alive for Catholics in our world.
Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu