Bishop’s statement on Catholic schools

February 12, 2008

After careful review of proposals by parents, Bishop Matthew Clark has determined that the plan announced Jan. 18 to close 13 Monroe County Catholic Schools will proceed.

“While I greatly appreciate these proposals, I remain confident that the Task Force recommendations to close these schools and focus our resources on 11 remaining schools is the best chance we have of stabilizing our financial pressures in the long term and preserving Catholic Education for the future,” he said.

Re-opening a school or schools would jeopardize retention and enrollment goals for the 11 remaining schools, thereby impacting financial stability of the system as a whole, he said.

Bishop Clark added that he was thankful that MCCS and diocesan officials were able to meet one-on-one with parent groups at affected schools over the past 10 days. Meetings requested by parents were held at Holy Trinity, St. John of Rochester, Good Shepherd, St. Margaret Mary, St. John the Evangelist, Holy Cross and St. Andrew schools, the latter for parents of several schools in the city that are scheduled to close in June.

“I offer my profound gratitude to the parents at these schools who worked incredibly hard on these proposals to keep their schools open,” Bishop Clark said. “I pray that we can tap their energy, commitment and passion as we move forward.”

Registration for the 2008-09 school year begins tomorrow. Packets were to be sent home to all parents today.

Regarding the issue of available space, we reiterate that we will do the best we can to seat every child who would like to receive a Catholic education. Once registration is underway, we will address space issues if they arise.

For more information on registration, visit