The following comes from a July 23 Westside Connect article:
GUSTINE – Students, parents and staff members at Our Lady of Miracles School, who had been preparing for the start of a new school year in a few short weeks, were stunned to learn Wednesday that the K-8 parochial school is closing.
On Thursday, members of the Our Lady of Miracles community vowed to do everything in their power to convince Fresno Diocese Bishop Armando Ochoa to reconsider his decision to close the school.
Families, many with multi-generational ties to Our Lady of Miracles, found themselves facing the prospect of finding new schools for their children and little time to do so.
Teachers, meanwhile, are thrown into the job market at a time when most positions have already been filled in preparation for the fast-arriving school year.
No clear reasons were given for the closure, several parents stated, nor was the community given any advance notice or opportunity to rally behind the school before its fate had been determined.
Shrinking enrollment and the school’s difficulty in filling its principal position in recent years were contributing factors, several sources indicated.
Some parents and staff members summoned to separate meetings Wednesday went believing that the gatherings were called to announce the hiring of a new principal. Instead, they learned that the school was shutting its doors.
“They said we were in a crisis. We didn’t even know that we were in a crisis,” said Our Lady of Miracles parent Barbara Azevedo. “As far as we knew, we were coming back Aug. 20. Had we known, we all would have risen to the occasion to do what we could to make it work.”
Parent Melissa Ventura said that, by all accounts, finances were not at the heart of the decision to close the school.
“I think that if someone would have said that they were going to give the school $1 million, I don’t think it would have changed anything,” she commented.
This sounds ‘hinky’ just from the quotes – like saying a Million $$ wouldn’t help, and they can’t find (or agree) on a Principal.
Something else is going on that is not being discussed – and perhaps this School is in need of a Rescue instead of a requiem.
I would like to know what Volunteer Help would be needed to open the school for at leas this year. Is is Structural (earthquake, fire…) or Hazardous (asbestos, mold…) or something more Human – and thus harder to repair?
Please follow up on this story – as it sounds like a place that may be ripe for a ‘Fundamental Transformation’ of Catholic Education – away from the radical leftist indoctrination of so many ‘progressives’ and Forward towards a New Paradigm of…
even russia has given up the ways of the diktat . sounds like someone has plans to do something else with diocesan funds, probably the usual real estate investment route or expanding the chancery staff and building.
Surprised? Yes just like my parents, sisters, and I were when they closed our Roman Catholic Elementary School in 1967 and left us all no choice but to go to Public School. Funny how so many (thousands) Roman Catholic Schools closed that year. We were told it was on account that our parish couldn’t afford it any longer. Where there is a will there is a way, and with God Who is the Way, it could and would have survived. Chalk this one and all the many thousands that closed across our country alone up and thank V2 when the changes all began!
I read in the original article that there were 90 students enrolled for the upcoming academic year. Granted they would pick up a few more in the next month, but 100-120 kids is not enough to make a go of it for a K-8 parochial school unless the parish is willing to bankrupt itself to support it. I don’t fault the pastor for closing the school: I do fault him for not telling people in May so that other arrangements could be made for teachers and students.
Father Michael, you are quite correct: no k-8 school can survive with only 100 children!
On this planet we actually have to pay salaries to teachers, janitors, secretaries, etc., and “nice thoughts” won’t cut it.
Thats true. Its very expensive to run schools today. I wish parents would be given the option to choose their school and money would be given to school of choice. So parents can afford private Catholic education. This way schools would be forced to shape up and actually teach.
This is a sad situation. The notification process stinks. But, the economics just aren’t there, are they? With 100 students, divided into 9 classes, or even 5 classes, how do you pay for five teachers at $40,000 each, or a principal, or a school admin, water, electricity, gas, safety, etc. If parishes want schools, they must be willing to pay up in the Sunday offertory don’t they? Parents can no longer afford to put their kids in private schools, unless they are in the top 10% of wage earners.
Sorry I disagree with Michael, what is more important the good forming of 90 students souls for a lifetime of holiness and salvation, or saving bucks.
Bishop Ochoa owes the Parents and the Faculty a truthful explanation.
This respect is owed to all human beings.
And a much more reasonable time period of notification should have been provided.
(The article clearly stated that money was not an issue.)
Our Lady of Miracles Catholic School in Gustine will stay open,church officials confirmed.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and Office of Catholic Education announced the decision to leave the school open late Tuesday, reversing actions taken a week ago to shutter the decades old religious school.
Read more here: https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/community/article29372830.html#storylink=cpy
“The school first opened in 1952. It closed in 1968, then reopened in 1979, according to its website. About 90 students were enrolled for the upcoming school year before the closure was announced.”
This quotes from today’s Merced Sun Star (July 29) makes it clear that the school will remain open, but God only knows WHY.
With only 90 children registered for a Kindergarten through 8th grade school, how in the WORLD can they keep their doors open?
90 children is a lot of Souls. They are worth saving.
I went to a small school, no problem keeping open. You only hire the staff you need.