• Published

Bishop did not duly consider all aspects of school closures

Bishop Malone’s decision to close 10 Catholic schools without regard to their location and the feasibility of students being able to transfer to other schools has to have been one of the poorest decisions made by the diocesan hierarchy. While it may have made economic sense, what seemed to have been lacking was common sense and empathy.

What makes it especially hurtful is the fact that our parish and school are celebrating their 150-year anniversary, but are doing so with the knowledge that many parishioners will soon be transferring their allegiance and support to other parishes that have been allowed to retain their schools.

Some parents have just given up the concept of a “Catholic education” and will send their children to public schools.

The whole closing process has served to alienate parishioners from the diocese. At no time has Bishop Malone or his diocesan decision makers ever offered to come to a school meeting to give either an explanation or an apology for the abrupt and arbitrary closing of the school.

Where will our religious men and women come from in the future? What values are we teaching or failing to teach as we find more and more of our youth drifting away from the church. Our schoolchildren practiced what was preached at the pulpit, “feed the hungry,” by helping to stock the shelves of our food pantry in our service to the needy of our community. These are but a few of the perhaps unintended consequences of the closing of our parish school without proper consideration.

Dolores Stefanacci

Fourteen Holy Helpers Parish

West Seneca

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