Will there be ANY Catholic school in EF/Rox/Myk??
Weeks before the end of school, and an era, in many Catholic communities, this is what’s come of the archdiocese’s ambitious “Faith in the Future” campaign?
St. Denis’ pastor, Msgr. James Graham, did not return calls to comment. Archdiocesan Schools Superintendent Mary Rochford downplays the disillusion.Though the archdiocese rescinded some of the arranged marriages, she assures me that fund-raising remains brisk and all 21 regional schools will open next fall.
“There’s only one I’m worried about,” she says, mentioning resistance in East Falls and Manayunk to register at St. Blaise, named for a patron saint of healing.
Monica Yant Kinney: Catholic families chafe at schools mergers
The archdiocese is run by morons, and it has been run by morons, sadly, for quite some time. They have parish schools at OMC and at IHM, adjacent parishes. Now they want to close St. Bridget's, which is three parishes down from IHM, and keep the one open at Holy Family, which is adjacent to IHM, so that they would then have three parishes in a row with grammar schools and three parishes in a row with no schools. The next parish school going towards Center City from St. Bridget's is St. Francis Xavier, which again is quite a haul. Meanwhile there are 950 families enrolled at St. Bridget's, and an explosion of babies and toddlers here in EF, with adjacent Germantown increasinly becoming a destination for educated families with children. Someone will meet the market for educating these kids. Whether the archdiocese will break its bad habits of failure and take advantage of this opportunity remains to be seen, though.
Originally Posted by pjrb
It's gotten ugly. The people from St. Bridget's are extremely upset at the boneheaded decision of the archdiocese, and they are fighting it. Meanwhile St. Bridget's isn't allowing families to leave and join other parishes so that they can pay parishioner tuition, and even St. Bridget's families who don't regularly attend mass are getting either 50% or 0% credit towards the parishioner tuition discount. This refusal to release families is coming from the archdoicese, but Fr. Devlin, as the hatchet man, is causing alot of resentment. It's really a shame. Meanwhile they're spending many, many millions on the sex abuse scandal. The one positive I see coming out of this is that it's shaking St. Bridget's and Mifflin out of their lethargies. I believe that East Falls should and will have an affordable, quality neighborhood school, and the changes that I see happening I believe will bring us that - previously St. Bridget's was being starved to death, and whatever school or schools come out of this upheaval should have more of a positive feedback loop.
Last edited by billy ross; 05-21-2012 at 09:52 AM.
1. I keep hearing about this OMC - what is OMC?
2. I understand the decision about Mass attendance - if you're a faithful Catholic, that shouldn't be an issue. You don't attend, you don't contribute to the health of the parish. Period. The parish isn't just about sending your kids to school. If you're serious about faith based education, what message do you send to your child by not regularly attending Mass - the source and summit of our faith? It's crazy to assume that you should get a "free ride" when you don't participate in the full sacramental life of the Church.
3. I agree, Billy, something here is fishy - it doesn't make sense on MANY levels - we've access to transportation routes (SEPTA both rail and several bus routes), easy highway access, parking, the list goes on and on. We have a better physical plant, we have more baptisms, marriages, etc. Something more is going on - and it's not just that a Msgr on the Commission graduated from what was then Holy Family (now Holy Child). There's got to be more to the story.
4. What I think is CLASSSIC in this article, is that Mary Rochford (who is retiring) admits that they goofed but then sort of shrugs her sholders at the whole mess, like, well what can you do, we screwed up!
The issue I heard with the non-parishioner tuition bump is that the only way you didn't get the pump if if you said you went 100% of the time. I have a friend who said she went 60-75% of weekends and she got classified as a non-parishioner. The women is a pretty faithful catholic who's family owns a business she sometimes needs to work on the weekends. It seemed a bit excessive to me.
St. Blaise not to open??
Heard today that St. Bridget parents are receiving letters that St. Blaise is woefully under-registered and may not be able to open. Can anyone confirm?
OMC is Our Mother of Consolation parish and school in Chestnut Hill.
St. Blaise not opening?
I don't get this. "St.Blaise" under the name Holy Child is already open. Do they not have enough kids at Holy Child to remain open another year? Were they dependent on an influx from St. Bridget's to remain open? Did a large number of Holy Child parents indicate that they are not returning next year? Something doesn't add up to me.
End of Era
I believe that a letter was sent to parents that if St. Blaise does not reach an enrollment of 250 students that the school will not open next fall. At the moment it is believed that about 150 students have registered at St. Blaise. This year Holy Child had approx. 217 students and St. Bridget's had approx. 200 students.
It would take too long to rehash the history of the creation of Holy Child, the closing of the Manayunk parishes, the Archdiocese decision making process, the denial of the appeal to locate St. Blaise at St. Bridget's, etc. in this post.
Parents of St. Bridget's students have picked IHM, OMC, St. Francis, St. Margarets, and Green Woods over St. Blaise and it my understanding that many of the families of the closed Manayunk parishes have selected IHM and Green Wood over St. Blaise. Green Wood has located its temporary buildings at St. John's and St. Mary's.
Maybe its for the best
Maybe it's for the best if St. Blaise doesn't open. St. Bridget's can then move beyond having to fund financially staved schools associated with their parish and students, parents, and the archdiocese can focus on larger schools with more opportunities for the students. The lack of real libraries, art programs, language opportunities, Physical Education, technology, and so on at some of these schools can't really be addressed until the schools are not a money pit for the church.
St. Bridget's families are not enrolling b/c of the merger but Holy Child families are going elsewhere because they raised tuition -- essentially undoing discounts for more children (in the article in my OP, there was a quote referencing large families as 'burdens' on the school system -- those same families who should support the church's ban on birth control!). When the response to the spring enrollment was lackluster, they lowered tuition a little bit, but it was too late. Many families with 2+ kids had already registered to meet other schools' deadlines, such as IHM who apparently don't have a minimum to donate to church to get the 'parishioner rate' and the tuition is a lot lower to begin with. Plus, Rox/Myk happens to have some of the better public schools in Philly so there are choices.
A third angle to this story is the daycare at HC that is growing by the week. The PreK 3 and 4 is at full capacity and they have to keep shifting and breaking up the infant and toddler groups to accommodate growing enrollment -- once these kids are old enough for school, they'll go where...?? Poor insight, poor leadership and poor decision-making.
Most of the parents sticking it out with the schools seem to be those (like my hubby) who went to catholic school themselves and feel the need to continue to support it -- once they do away with the schools that bond/history for many will be lost. They 'consolidated' Myk parishes, moved many of the priests to other locations and brought in new ones. One of the benefits of an organized religion is that it serves as a constant in a very dynamic and changing world -- a source of comfort for many -- but all these changes and upheaval are undermining that sense of community and consistency that people go to church for and in the end will only alienate those struggling to make religion relevant to their lives these days. Usually some evolution in large organizations is good but it's hard to see that this will end well.
St Blaise vs IHM?
This is pretty pathetic. With the state of the Philadelphia Public schools I'm really surprised. However, I really don't see many elementary aged children in the neighborhood. On my block there are only 2 and they go to Dobson. We are on the fence about which parish to join now that St. Mary's is closing. We are thinking Immaculate Heart of Mary because it seems their school is stronger, and we plan to send our children to Catholic school. I don't think tuition is the issue. I think the tuition for these Archdiocesan schools is cheap compared to other private options. I work in parochial schools of a different faith and they are 3-6 times more expensive and don't provide near the quality of education as the archdiocesan Catholic schools here. Waldron Mercy in Merion is more than twice the price of St. Blaise and offers no substantial family discount. Anyway...this was one long ramble. Can anyone attest to the quality difference between Holy Child (St Blaise) and IHM?
Polaneczky: They're blasé about St. Blaise
Ouch. The people that run the archdiocese really are idiots. I'm not blaming Chaput. He's too new, and he's trying to fix the mess. I'm blaming the suburbanites who decided which schools to close and why, and the fools who have been running the Archdiocesan schools into the ground. Note that St Joe Prep and LaSalle and Waldron (all RC but not run by the archdiocese) are neither closing nor hurting for enrollment. There's been a flight to quality, and the archdiocesan schools have been left in the dust, sadly. It's not to late to fix what's left, but not under the present 'leadership' structure.
Last edited by billy ross; 06-13-2012 at 09:22 AM.
"a site that had failed miserably for five years"
Is this op-ed being passed off as objective reporting? This is pretty offensive and again indicative that few people (including this one reporter who consistently represents one side of this and clearly pulls out two or three mis-used stats among many that tell a complicated story) know more than what their own school offers/represents and it's difficult for anyone to really understand the big picture -- whether a so-called reporter or a member of an outside commission. The smaller numbers of the original MYK merger was the result of the same problems with how it was all handled and the strong disapproval of closing schools where people felt a strong connection and investment. Not everyone marched along like obedient little ants and went elsewhere -- including St. Bridget's, bumping their enrollment. This is what is happening now.
These articles all make it sound as though HC sucks and SB is a hugely popular and profitable school sought after by the entire catholic community of NWPhilly that got totally screwed. The reality is that the decision making by the archdiocese has been and continues to be just so very poor and real people are being affected and there is noone listening, not even to polanesky.
I am a student of human nature and always intrigued as to how people respond when decisions are made for them. People, as a rule, don't like being told what to do. Evidence: the bump in Saint Bridget's enrollment when the Manayunk parishes closed as well as the bump in Dobson and Cook-Wissahickon's enrollment for the same reason. People did not like being told to go to Holy Child so they didn't. It had nothing to do with the quality of the education at Holy Child; it was that parents did not like someone else making a choice for them.
I predict that the closing of parishes will have the same effect. I've already heard people say they will NOT go to St. John's. Again, that's what they've been told to do; they don't like it. If I were the leader of any of the non-Catholic churches in the neighborhood, I'd do some serious PR. These folks are ripe for choices!
Two Protestant churches have opened up in the last two years within a 5 min walk of my house in South Philly. The ones that are longstanding aren't closing. The RC Church is getting rocked to its foundations right now and the leadership seems to be in denial.
any word on the final decision of the diocese? i know the letter from a few weeks back said an announcement would be made today.
Final decision is that St. Blaise will not open due to enrollment of only 155.
Originally Posted by efalls81
Yep, the archdiocese and the pastors just announced the school will never open.
Official: No More Catholic Schools in Manayunk - Roxborough-Manayunk, PA Patch
Editor, Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
And will all these children be going to IHM?
Any one have any idea how this will affect the Child Care Center at Holy Child?
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