To the editor:
"Mamma Mia, here I go again." Was that the touring Broadway production in Rochester this week or our reaction to Bishop Clark’s decision to close two more Catholic schools? My family will be on our third Catholic school next year, and our oldest is only going into fourth grade!
While I’m sure the decision to close Our Mother of Sorrows and Holy Rosary schools was not done in haste, the reality is that MOS currently has 230 students enrolled. It is hardly the picture of a failing school with a declining enrollment. Sure the enrollment fell slightly from last year, but for the first time in its history, MOS opened the 2010-2011 school year without a seventh and eighth grade, something most other schools did 10-15 years ago.
Reopening Holy Cross School in Charlotte with the goal of absorbing both Our Mother of Sorrows and Holy Rosary students is a huge success for the HC community who have been actively advocating for their parish school for years, but it is at the expense of MOS and the 230 students there.
With enough faith we’ll be able to find the silver lining. Perhaps Holy Cross School and the enthusiastic pastor and community there will reinvigorate Catholic education in the north part of Rochester. It’s clear to parents that parish and community support for our schools is what will sustain us, and Holy Cross is showing it. The Diocese of Rochester needs to understand that without strong Catholic schools, strong leadership in the Church will be nonexistent. I wish we could heed the example of NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan: "The commitment of the archdiocese to finding ways to make our schools available to all children who desire to attend them will not waver" (Oct. 7, 2010).
Thank you for being so welcoming Holy Cross and fighting for what should be our church’s top priority — the education of our children. I’ll ante up my three.