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26 NY Catholic schools unable to reopen in September in wake of pandemic

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Posted at 1:52 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 23:21:36-04

NEW YORK — More than two dozen Catholic schools and academies in New York will not reopen during the upcoming academic in wake of the pandemic.

The Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York made the announcement Thursday, attributing low enrollment and financial issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Six schools will close in Brooklyn and Queens while 20 will close in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and the northern regions of the archdiocese.

“Children are always the most innocent victims of any crisis, and this COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York.

“Too many have lost parents and grandparents to this insidious virus, and now thousands will not see their beloved school again. I’ve kept a hopeful eye on our schools throughout this saga and my prayers are with all of the children and their families who will be affected by this sad news. Given the devastation of this pandemic, I’m grateful more schools didn’t meet this fate, and that Catholic schools nearby are ready to welcome all the kids.”

The closures will impact approximately 2,500 students and 350 staff in the Archdiocese of New York.

The following Archdiocese of New York schools will not reopen:

  • Corpus Christi School, Manhattan
  • Divine Mercy School, New Windsor
  • Holy Family School, New Rochelle
  • Nativity of Our Blessed Lady School, Bronx
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-St. Benedicta School, Staten Island
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Pelham Manor
  • Our Lady of Pompeii School, Manhattan
  • Our Lady of the Assumption School, Bronx
  • Sacred Heart School, Suffern
  • St. Ann School, Yonkers
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Shrub Oak
  • St. John’s School, Kingsbridge, Bronx
  • St. Joseph-St. Thomas School, Staten Island
  • St. Luke School, Bronx
  • St. Patrick School, Bedford
  • St. Paul School, Yonkers
  • St. Peter School, Poughkeepsie
  • Sts. Peter & Paul School, Staten Island
  • Sts. Philip & James School, Bronx
  • St. Thomas Aquinas School, Bronx

Three schools are also going to merge: St. John School in Goshen will welcome school communities from Sacred Heart School in Monroe and St. Stephen-St. Edward School in Warwick to their campus.

The following Catholic academies in Brooklyn and Queens will not reopen:

  • Queen of the Rosary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • St. Gregory the Great in Crown Heights/Flatbush, Brooklyn
  • Our Lady's Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park, Queens
  • Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach, Queens
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Academy in Whitestone, Queens
  • St. Mel's Catholic Academy in Whitestone, Queens

School officials will work closely with parents and students who are impacted by the school closures.

PIX11 spoke with concerned parents who tell us they were caught off guard by this morning‘s announcement and are now scrambling to find a new school for their children.

Gloria Feliciano expressed her shock and sadness upon hearing her beloved St. Luke is one of 20 schools the Archdiocese is closing.

“St. Luke’s hold a special place in our heart,” said Feliciano. “ My sisters and I went there, my oldest son graduated from there and now my younger son goes there, to say the least this is devastating to us.”

Her son Matthew was getting set to enter seventh grade this September at the school on E. 139th street in the Bronx.

“We’re all scrambling my family other families as well we’re searching for schools in the area,” said Feliciano.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan announcing e the schools are shuttering due to a substantial decline in enrollment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families have have not re-registered their children fearing they will be unable to pay tuition. Months of canceled masses have led to the loss of Parish funds which traditionally help support the schools

The Closures will affect 350 staffers and 2,500 students including Shannon Elfe’s 10-year-old son Montrell who attends Nativity of Our Blessed Lady in the Bronx.

“In Catholic school he has excelled really well I don’t wanna put him back in to Public school,” said Elfe. “I’m just going to pray and hopefully somebody will let him in for September.”

Feliciano started a change dot org petition to to save St. Luke’s.

“We are a Catholic family, we thrive on giving our children a Catholic education,” said Feliciano. “The community is at a loss.”

Schools Supt. Michael Deegan wants to assure families that every student displaced will be accepted at another Catholic school with financial assistance if needed.