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Philadelphia archdiocese will close 48 Catholic schools

Catholic World News - January 06, 2012

The Philadelphia archdiocese plans to close 48 Catholic schools, as part of a sweeping program designed to restore economic stability to an endangered parochial-school system.

Four Catholic high schools will be closed, and 44 primary schools will be closed or folded into other existing Catholic schools. The closings were recommended by a blue-ribbon committee that was formed in December 2010 by Cardinal Justin Rigali to study the long-term financial needs of the Catholic school system. The changes were necessary because of steadily rising educational costs and a slowdown in student enrollment, the committee found.

Archbishop Charles Chaput, who succeeded Cardinal Rigali in Philadelphia last year, had warned of painful changes, and encouraged the blue-ribbon committee to act decisively. “Nostalgia for the past is a bad foundation if we want to think clearly and build creatively for the future,” he said

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Jan. 06, 2012 10:26 PM ET USA

    Realism and pain seem to go hand in hand all too often for a lot of Catholic folks these days. Efficacious pain isn't so bad, but its that pain associated with exsanguination that leaves a bitter taste.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jan. 06, 2012 7:13 PM ET USA

    Painful. But not as painful as closing Catholic parishes. Is that going to have to happen next, or does the decreased need to subsidize schools take some of the pressure off? Teachers from the closed schools will have to reapply for jobs in consolidated schools, this will be an opportunity to keep the best of teachers, and if wise people are doing the hiring they could keep the most faith. If Philadelphia is like many places, schools may not be too clearly Catholic, and this could help.

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