By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Barring a miracle from the Vatican, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in South Philadelphia has closed its doors for good after 111 years.
Students, parents, and alums packed the church on Thursday morning for a Mass, and to say a final goodbye.
If your parents went to Mount Carmel, so did you.
(Joe:) “I went here, my wife went here.”
And your kids, and their kids, too.
(Allison:) “I just can’t believe it — it’s so sad.”
It’s that kind of place for Joe Nelson, and his daughter, fourth-grader Allison.
(Allison:) “I loved my teachers — they were so nice.”
(Joe:) “It’s terrible. We’ve been dreading this whole month.”
The elementary school is one of a couple dozen that fell victim to the Archdiocesan budget ax.
Joe says Archbishop Charles Chaput didn’t have to let it happen.
“I hope he’s happy in proceeding to rip apart our neighborhood and dishearten Catholics that were faithful.”
Now, sixth-grader Adam has to go to a different school than his buddies.
“I’m going to miss it a lot. There are so many happy memories.”
And for Melissa, who has to find new classrooms for her kids.
“There are all the things that Catholic schools give you — the morals, the values, the safety. This school meant everything to me. I know we have to move on, but it’s really, really hard.”