Twenty Catholic schools, including St. Patrick’s in Bedford, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Shrub Oak and four others in Westchester, will be unable to reopen in the wake of COVID-19, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York announced today.
“The coronavirus public health crisis has had a devastating financial impact on Catholic school families and the greater Archdiocese,” a press release stated. “Mass unemployment and continuing health concerns have resulted in families’ inability to pay their current tuition, and a significantly low rate of re-registration for the fall; while months of cancelled public masses and fundraising for scholarships have seen a loss of parish contributions which traditionally help support the schools.”
Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan noted how children are the victims of the crisis.
“Too many have lost parents and grandparents to this insidious virus, and now thousands will not see their beloved school again,” he stated. “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.”
Approximately 2,500 students and 350 staff will be impacted by the decision.
“The reality of these schools being lost is painful, and it was only accepted reluctantly after a detailed study was conducted of their respective fiscal standing in the wake of the coronavirus public health crisis,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan. “I have been a Catholic school educator for more than 40 years, and could never have imagined the grave impact this pandemic has had on our schools.”
The following Catholic 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
The press release also noted that St. John School in Goshen will welcome Sacred Heart School in Monroe and St. Stephen-St. Edward School in Warwick to their campus.
“The Office of the Superintendent of Schools will work closely with each affected family, to help find a neighboring Catholic school for the fall,” the press release stated. “The directors of enrollment will provide each family with information and answer any questions that they may have, whether they are about enrollment, transportation or tuition.”
Also, the release noted how the superintendent’s office is “dedicated to working in coordination with the teachers’ union to do everything it can to help faculty of the affected schools to find employment within the Archdiocesan school system.”
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York currently serve more than 60,000 students from Pre-K through 12th grade at 191 schools across the counties and boroughs of New York.
This story is developing and will be updated as more reporting details become available.