NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Archdiocese of New York announced Thursday that 20 Catholic schools will not reopen and three other schools will merge due to low enrollment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The archdiocese said it has seen a significantly low rate of re-registration for the fall because of ongoing health concerns and mass unemployment which has resulted in families being unable to pay tuition.
The cancellation of masses has also hurt the archdiocese's ability to support schools.
“Children are always the most innocent victims of any crisis, and this COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York. “Too many have lost parents and grandparents to this insidious virus, and now thousands will not see their beloved school again. 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.”
The decision to shutter the schools will impact about 2,500 students and 350 staff.
“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 coronaviruspublic 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. 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. I send my love and prayers to the families, teachers, principals and staff of the affectedschools.”
The following Catholic schools will not reopen:
• Corpus Christi School in Manhattan
• Divine Mercy School in New Windsor
• Holy Family School in New Rochelle
• Nativity of Our Blessed Lady School in the Bronx
• Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-St. Benedicta School in Staten Island
• Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Pelham Manor
• Our Lady of Pompeii School in Manhattan
• Our Lady of the Assumption School in the Bronx
• Sacred Heart School in Suffern
• St. Ann School in Yonkers
• St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Shrub Oak
• St. John’s School, Kingsbridge in the Bronx
• St. Joseph-St. Thomas School in Staten Island
• St. Luke School in the Bronx
• St. Patrick School in Bedford
• St. Paul School in Yonkers
• St. Peter School in Poughkeepsie
• Sts. Peter & Paul School in Staten Island
• Sts. Philip & James School in Bronx
• St. Thomas Aquinas School in Bronx
The archdiocese said St. John School in Goshen will take in students from Sacred Heart School in Monroe and St. Stephen-St. Edward School in Warwick.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Brooklyn also said six Catholic schools located in Brooklyn and Queens will close permanently, due to declining enrollment.
“This is an incredibly sad day for our Catholic community to have to close these schools, but the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic is insurmountable. The difficult decisions come after the intense analysis of the financial picture of each academy,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools.
The following schools will not reopen for the coming school year:
• Queen of the Rosary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
• St. Gregory the Great in Crown Heights/Flatbush, Brooklyn
• Our Lady’s Catholic Academy in South Ozone Park, Queens
• Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach, Queens
• Holy Trinity Catholic Academy in Whitestone, Queens
• St. Mel’s Catholic Academy in Whitestone, Queens
Affected students will be transferred to nearby Catholic schools.