Just four days after learning that St. Martin de Porres Regional School would close at the end of the school year, families of pupils attending the Oakland school, gathered Jan. 23 to hear what happened, why and what will happen next after the announcement the diocese will close five schools.
“We are absolutely heartbroken that this school is going to close,” Rev. Aidan McAleenan, pastor at Oakland’s St. Columba Parish, told dozens of school families that gathered at Sacred Heart Church, adjacent to the school.
Noting that the school board had been wrestling over the past 12 to 18 months with issues involving the school’s long-term sustainability, Father McAleenan said the group had worked out a proposal in monthly board meetings and with the help of special committees. Key in the proposal was the formation of a new network of Catholic schools facing similar financial and enrollment struggles. Together the schools would work on reducing expenses and develop ways to increase fundraising to help families who could not afford to pay the full cost of tuition.
The board sent the letter outlining the “last ditch” proposal in November to Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and Rev. Larry Young, interim school superintendent, hoping to keep alive the school’s chances of survival.
But the “bottom line is that we couldn’t pay the bills,” said the priest, as his voice cracked with emotion. “We did our best, but it was not good enough.”
During the meeting both educators provided families with information of nearby Catholic, public and charter schools they may wish to research as well as application deadlines they will need in order to get their children signed up for the 2017-2018 school year.
In addition to St. Martin de Porres, four other elementary schools in the diocese are slated to close at the end of the school year. They are: St. Lawrence O’Toole School and St. Jarlath School, both in Oakland; Our Lady of the Rosary School in Union City; and St. Jerome School in El Cerrito.
Full story at The Catholic Voice.
“Enrollment struggles” – a self-inflicted wound. Catholics use contraceptives at the same rate as non-Catholics. How many mistakes the Church leadership has made!
Vatican Bishop Cardinal Liberati: ‘In 10 years we will all be Muslims because of our stupidity. […] All this paves the way to Islam. In addition to this, they have children, and we do not. We are in full decline.”
The dire warning comes after Italy has opened its doors to Muslim immigrants, taking in a third of a million the past two years alone. In the 1970s, Italy was home to just 2,000 Muslims. Today, the number exceeds two million. https://www.catholic.org/news/international/europe/story.php?id=73027
What happened with the Capital Campaign, “Reclaiming Christ’s Mission Together” ?
“This $65 million campaign will enhance our ability to educate and form our children and young adults, ….”
But by prioritizing debt restructure (the cathedral and abuse settlements loans ), the schools were low-listed.
“11. s there a certain order for case element funding?
The Priest Advisory Committee recommended, and Bishop Barber approved, the following order for funding …
1)Parish share 2)Debt restructure 3)Bishop’s Appeal 4)all other case elements funded on a prorated basis related to the overall campaign goal.
“[W]what will happen next after the announcement the diocese will close five schools[?]”
They’ll close some more!
Hopefully, the new Secretary of Education will make schools of choice more affordable.
These schools should wait before they close their doors! Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos may be of help. She has given millions to Christian schools….no Catholic schools- only Protestant schools. Help is on the way!
First off, the diocese only got pledges of 42 million, not the 65 million it hoped for. Plus, how many of those pledges are being honored. And remember, there are no more nuns and brothers (another story) to work for free. Teachers and staff aren’t paid what union teachers get, but they have to get a living wage. And way too many people want to complain, and still drop $1 every Sunday into the collection. It’s not 1940 anymore. People in other faiths pony up 10 percent or more for their church. San Jose diocese and other similar dioceses raise double what Oakland does. What is the challenge at the county line?
The Church, in the last 50 years, has seen a dramatic shift in demographics. People moved out of the urban areas and headed to the burbs. Those that replaced them could not afford to support the parish schools. Families are having smaller families, so there is no one to attend the schools. Catholics don’t give much in the “collection” every week. Those who earn $50K per year would normally be expected to donate $100 per week to the parish. But, Catholics are among the lowest contributors relative to other faiths. Teachers need to earn $40-60K to make a livable income in the Bay Area, pay rents $2000 per month for 1 bedroom apartments and or purchase a modest home at $500K,