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June 16, 2014 -- ChurchMilitant.TV TODAY
Why is a thriving parish getting the ax in NYC? Must see

May 30th, 2014 -- Podcast at Forward Boldly
Proposed Closing of Holy Innocents Church, Manhattan
Holy Innocents Church, the only parish in the entire New York City archdiocese that has a daily Traditional Latin Mass, with a robust and thriving community, is debt-free, and contains several historical treasures within, including the famous Brumidi mural above the altar, recently restored for around $300,000.
Why has the archdiocese proposed to close down this historic and vibrant church to sell it off?
Does this decision have anything to do with the nearly $200-million renovation of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the seat of the cardinal-archbishop, which some have said has run into cost overruns?
Christine Niles hosts 'Forward Boldly,' an online radio show where she interviews some of the most fascinating people in Catholicism today. more

January 22, 2013 -- ed
While our faith is under attack from every direction the New York Archdiocese is eliminating our most vital line of defense: Our Schools
The Archdiocese is closing 22 elementary schools and two secondary schools in June 2013.
The number of students at the elementary schools announced for closure today is 4,341, which represents almost 9 percent of those enrolled in Catholic elementary schools.
Cardinal Dolan closed 26 elementary schools in 2011 more

Please do not close our schools!
December 9, 2012

The New York Archdiocese announced that 26 elementary schools are in danger of closing. 20 of a total of 179 schools closed two years ago. If carried out this would mean closing 46 schools or almost 26% of the elementary schools in the Archdiocese.

We consider our schools to be the first line of defense against the growing secularism in America. While trying to run the school system without a deficit is admirable, we know that it can't be done. There must be other areas where the Archdiocese can cut expenses and continue to subsidize the school system.

We admire the parents who keep their children in Catholic schools. Please do not let them down.

Alex Majthenyi

New York Archdiocese announces 26 schools
'at risk of closure'

By Christie L. Chicoine -- Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- The New York Archdiocese has announced that 26 of the 159 regional, parish and archdiocesan elementary schools are at risk of closing next June.

In addition, St. Agnes Boys High School in Manhattan also is at risk of closing at the end of the current school year.

The Nov. 26 announcement of "at risk" schools comes two years after the archdiocese closed 20 schools as part of a reconfiguration plan.

A decision about the future of Catholic schools on New York's Staten Island has been postponed until January while the region continues to struggle with the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Archdiocesan officials are meeting with local pastors, principals, administrators and elected officials for in-depth discussions on how to best serve the needs of school families.

In a Nov. 28 posting on his blog, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan described the announcement of school closings as "very somber news."

"I dread this! I'd rather be opening new schools, not closing some," he said in his blog, "The Gospel in the Digital Age."

Children, teachers, parents and parishes love their schools and "fight hard to make them work! Some have just settled into these schools after the previous closing of others," he added. "This is very sad."

But the cardinal explained that "these tough decisions were long in coming, after over a year of study, discussion, consultation and debate by priests, parents and experts close to the scene."

He also noted that this second wave of closings "should be it." Although he said he couldn't promise that more schools wouldn't close, he said he did not envision a future announcement of dozens of closings.

In examining the future of Catholic education three years ago, archdiocesan officials approached the task with the traditional method of assessing how to effectively "make a good product even better" and put into place a number of academically oriented strategies, said Timothy J. McNiff, superintendent of schools in the archdiocese.

"We were confronted though with the unfortunate reality that there were very significant deficits the schools collectively were producing at the time," he said.

After a first round of closures in 2010-2011, officials realized that by themselves those closures would not satisfy all the deficits. "But we wanted to take a more deliberate approach," McNiff said, "and first change governance and leadership by inviting more laypeople to join pastors and we wanted to explore how can we bring in additional revenue into the system on a consistent basis."

The superintendent acknowledges the number of at-risk schools is high. "It is a big number," he said. At the same time, he said, the number is "distributed among the entire archdiocese, which is a very big archdiocese."

"But that doesn't ease the pain and angst for families and children" who will be displaced, he said.

To ease the transition, placement counselors will work with principals and displaced families "to help shepherd them to another Catholic school for next year."

The number of students on the combined rosters of the 26 at-risk elementary schools is 5,053 out of 50,045 currently enrolled in Catholic elementary schools in the archdiocese.

St. Agnes Boys High currently has 217 students out of a total of 24,830 pupils currently enrolled in Catholic schools across the archdiocese.

In the next step of the process, pastors and principals of the at-risk elementary schools will be invited to meet with members of the local board or reconfiguration committee in their region to discuss the combination of factors that led to their school being pinpointed and to review next steps.

Pastors and principals will be given the opportunity to share insights that may be relevant in the review or appeal process. The final decisions by local boards and reconfiguration committees, in consultation with the archdiocese, will be made in January.

In the interim, McNiff suggested that "the best thing a parent can do is just continue to mentor their children by explaining what is happening, the rationale for it," giving them confidence that their school is going to continue to be the same school that they've enjoyed for the remainder of the school year.

The announcement of the at-risk schools follows the completion of preliminary evaluations of the current status and long-term viability of the regionalized elementary schools in their respective regions by local boards for three pilot regions and ad hoc reconfiguration committees for six nonpilot regions, comprised of laity and clergy in parishes across the archdiocese.

The emphasis placed on the local decision-making process was outlined in "Pathways to Excellence," the strategic plan for Catholic schools published in 2010 and developed to assure a vibrant future for Catholic education in the archdiocese. Under that plan, most parish elementary schools will align into geographic regions governed by boards.

Regional boards and reconfiguration committees in every county in the archdiocese began their analysis of each school region this fall. The review incorporates all relevant data, including enrollment, financial, academic and local demographics, and ensures their decisions will result in financially healthy schools.

"What makes it so difficult -- we've said this before, but it bears repeating -- we're not closing failing schools," McNiff said. "Not when you look at test scores, graduation rates, attendance, safe environments. This is all about a lack of funds to keep schools open."

- - -

Chicoine is news editor for Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper.


The New York Archdiocese Schools
determined to be "at-risk" of closure

A final decision will be made in January

Holy Cross
Holy Name of Jesus
St. Gregory the Great
St. James-St. Joseph
St. Jude

Northwest and South Bronx:
Holy Spirit
Our Lady of Angels
Our Lady of Mercy
St. Jerome

East and Northeast Bronx:
Blessed Sacrament
St. Anthony
St. Mary
St. Mary Star of the Sea

Central Westchester:
Holy Name of Jesus, Valhalla
Our Lady of Fatima, Scarsdale
St. Casimir, Yonkers

Northern Westchester/Putnam:
Our Lady of the Assumption, Peekskill
St. Theresa, Briarcliff Manor

Regina Coeli, Hyde Park
St. Joseph, Millbrook

St. Augustine, New City
St. Peter, Haverstraw

Ulster, Orange, Sullivan:
Sacred Heart, Newburgh
St. Joseph, Kingston
St. Mary of the Snow, Saugerties

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