The Archdiocese of New York announced that financial struggles brought on by coronavirus has pressed the closure of 20 Catholic schools downstate, with six of the schools located in the Bronx.
The Bronx’s Saints Philip & James School in Williamsbridge, St. Thomas Aquinas School in Crotona, St. Luke School in Mott Haven, St. John’s School in Kingsbridge, Nativity of Our Blessed Lady School in Edenwald, and Our Lady of the Assumption School in Pelham Bay will be shutting down its operations in the near future.
In addition, three schools on Staten Island, two in Manhattan, and others in surrounding suburbs, will also be part of the closures.
Manhattan’s Corpus Christi School in Morningside Heights and Our Lady of Pompeii School on Bleecker Street will be closed in addition to Staten Island’s St. Joseph-St. Thomas School in Prince’s Bay, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-St. Benedicta School in Port Richmond, and Saints Peter & Paul School in Randall Manor.
It is expected that 2,500 students and 350 staff will be impacted by the closures, according to the archdiocese.
The report cited that many families were unable to pay current tuition due to COVID-19 related unemployment, leading to “a significantly low rate of reregistration for the fall.”
Some cast the blame on months of canceled masses and fundraising, which went toward scholarships, as being a critical blow to the schools’ permanent closures.
“Too many have lost parents and grandparents to this insidious virus, and now thousands will not see their beloved school again,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
“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,” Dolan added.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese, Michael J. Deegan, is fearful that this is only the beginning of larger school closures to come.
“If more assistance is not forthcoming in the longed for HEROES Act now before Congress, I am afraid even more might close. This is a very sad day for everyone in the extended Catholic school community,” he said.
Other Catholic schools closing in the Hudson valley include: Holy Family School in New Rochelle, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Pelham Manor, both St. Ann School and St. Paul School in Yonkers, Sacred Heart School in Suffern, Divine Mercy School in New Windsor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Shrub Oak, St. Patrick School in Bedford, St. Peter School in Poughkeepsie.
The archdiocese also announced that both Sacred Heart School in Monroe and St. Stephen-St. Edward School in Warwick will combined with St. John School in Goshen.