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4 High Schools, 44 Grade Schools To Close Or Consolidate

By David Madden, Mike DeNardo and Todd Quinones

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An Archdiocese panel is recommending a sweeping consolidation that includes the closure of dozens of Philadelphia-area Catholic schools.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that four high schools and 44 grade schools are among the schools that theBlue Ribbon Commission has recommended for closure.

VIEW: Commission Report

The panel’s report recommends that the Philadelphia Archdiocese make the closures to stop what they called the “death spiral” of declining enrollement and higher costs. The four high schools on the list are West Catholic, St. Hubert’s, Conwell Egan and Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast (two high schools that operate as a boys and girls schools on the same site).

VIEW: Complete List Of Recommended Catholic School Closures/Consolidations

Officials said enrollment is down 72-percent since 1961 and parish subsidiaries have increased 25-percent.

Archbishop Charles Chaput says closing and consolidating schools is necessary.

“I’m convinced that if we take this report to heart, if we apply it creatively and intelligently without losing our courage or our focus on building for the future, we can renew Catholic education across the Archdiocese.”

Chaput says the report is not the last word — but he said he had trust and confidence in the report.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement regarding the closure of Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools:

“…Economic recession and demographic change have affected any number of institutions in far reaching ways. It’s certainly true for the City of Philadelphia. It’s true for the Philadelphia School District, and now the Archdiocese faces some very tough decisions. During this period of change, let’s not forget that we are one city, and we’re all in this together. Now is a time for partnership and support for the young persons in our city so that everyone knows that they have high-quality educational options in the City of Philadelphia.”

There are currently 17 high schools and 156 elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

READ: About The Commission
READ: Commission Members Bio

Web Extra: Greg Geruson Greg Geruson from the Catholic School Development Program

Stay with CBS Philly, KYW Newsradio and CBS 3 for the latest on this story.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

  • noname

    as a kid we donated money at church for the missions in poor countries to bring the word of God and establish schools there. what about the mission here? this isn’t about faith and trust and community any more, it’s about money. just try going to the rectory for help on a weekend….LOL even in regards to a death in family. i couldn’t believe it when i went over the day a friends husband died, was told to come back Monday to Friday during specific hours. what bothers me is that priest i saw on tv. saying that his school paid all their bills without help – and it’s still being closed. not once have I seen anyone from the Catholic Church try to reach out to the new DEMOGRAPHICS that are moving into the area’s they are closing and invite them to join or come to church. it’s about money, and it’s about paying for the law suits from the cover up too. 50 years from now there will be no Roman Catholic Churches in the Philadlphia area at all, Nation wide, it’s scary, the church is failing, because it’s a corporation now and not about community and has no “mission” anymore. and worse, they are targetting the lower income communities for closing…where a Catholic education is most needed.

  • Spring to action people

    If our student’s and parents stay quiet and downtrodden about these closures
    the arrogant power’s to be will win ,if we people protest this mass attack
    on our school’s we can win ,the RC Church is very concerned about
    it’s image, especially in the press.
    It ain’t over till it’s over. Shame of the administration these money cost
    cutting issues were years in the making and now they in a panic from
    lack of a good business sense and management are using the axe to
    chop up schools.

  • Ph.D

    Our Roman Catholic Church closing Saint Anthony-Saint Joesph and using
    members of commerce in the “Blue Ribbon ” commission from big business
    is showing it’s true colors ,Our Church is getting closer to Wall Street and the
    Stock Market then it’s congregation ,Is this one fell swoop of closing our
    schools arrogant or what?
    I do hope that parent’s do not take this lightly and start a protest ,we shall not
    die as sheep,the RC Church is wealthy ,who is kidding who?

  • haywood

    Nutter is so full of b.s. its a shame. he likes to remind everyone he is a public school parent. his kid goes to masterman. why doesn’t he send her to northeast, mastbaum, mlk, germantown, olney, south philly, etc, etc, etc? High quality options? if his kid went to any one of most philly public schools she’d have a police escort every day. Charter schools are the only safe havens for most kids these days and there are not enough of them. they could have saved catholic schools at one time with school vouchers but thats in the past. this city gets worse and worse every year.

    • ummm

      masterman IS a public school.

  • Concern

    Charity Search Engines
    SOAR! is listed

  • Monsignor Bonner, Archbishop Prendergast Students React To Closure Announcement « CBS Philly

    […] The students at Bonner Prendie were crushed to hear that the co-institutional school is on the recommendation list to close, among them, senior Patrick Walsh of Aldan. (see related story) […]

  • WCAlum

    Very sad day that my alma mater, West Catholic, is closing.
    How many other Catholic high schools can boast of the
    distinction of being a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence,
    a multicultural student body, Gates scholarship winners,
    tremendous, loyal alumnae and alumni. The list could
    go on. Having three West graduates on the Commission
    certainly didn’t help.
    West is still and will always be the Best!

  • john smith

    Look at it this way, when you transferr into a public school you will be the smaetes kid in the school

  • pat

    My heart, along with others in South Philadelphia and all over the city, is breaking today. To find out that the school that I attended as a child, my children attended and my grandson now attends is closing is heartbreaking! To think that the catholic church has paid out millions and millions of dollars to settle lawsuits for their pediophile priests is disgraceful. That money should have been used to keep our schools open so that the children would be able to get a catholic school education. The people that will suffer the most are the children and their parents who have made many sacrifices to send them to a catholic school! What next?????? More church closings????? Sad and heartbreaking day! Shame on the catholic church!!!!

  • Educators React To Catholic School Closing Recommendations « CBS Philly

    […] READ: Full List Of Recommended Closings […]

  • Jackie M Class of 64

    It was somthing that was coming as a sign of the times but still hurts. -Once a Bambi ALWAYS a Bambi.

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