Four Catholic high schools to close in June

Archbishop Charles Chaput and Cardinal Justin Rigali

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to close four high schools and close or merge 44 elementary schools in June, officials announced today at a closed-door meeting with administrators and priests.

West Catholic, St. Hubert, Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast and Conwell-Egan will all be closed, according to Rita Schwartz, president of the Association of Catholic Teachers, which represents high school teachers in the Archdiocese.

“It was a very sad meeting,” Schwartz told the Inquirer following the morning meeting.

The recommended closings is part of the report from a 16-member Blue Ribbon Commission established by Cardinal Justin Rigali in December 2010 to issue suggestions to help shape the future of Catholic education. The report comes after a year of in-depth analysis and in response to a continued decline in enrollment, which has dropped more than 30 percent since 2001.

A 4 p.m. press conference is scheduled at the Archdiocese headquarters in Center City. Members of the Commission will discuss the plan and Archbishop Charles Chaput will offer comments on the findings. The press conference will be streamed live on the Archdiocesan site www.archphila.org.

At that time, a new site www.faithinthefuture.com will go live with the report and continued updates from the Office of Catholic Education.


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