Pastor’s Note 2015
All parishioners received last weekend in the bulletin a letter from Archbishop Blair in which he discussed Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. There are a number of schools that are in significant trouble due to falling enrollment, rising tuition rates and evaporating parish financial resources. Our own St. Mary School, happily, seems to be an exception to the rule. Our school at present is stable. Enrollment has risen slightly over the past several years. The financial picture also is good, thanks to the sacrifices that you and in some cases, grandparents, make in meeting tuition obligations. Due credit and much praise must be given to the Home and School Association in that for each of the past several years, all of you have worked to raise the truly remarkable sum of $110,000 to support the school budget. Lastly, the people of the parish have consistently and strongly supported the school, both in its fund raising efforts as well as in the support that goes to the school from the parish in the form of an annual subsidy.
All of this means that we together can be proud of our school. We do not have many of the worries and concerns that schools elsewhere have. This does not mean that we can just rest on our laurels, however. There are challenges ahead, particularly in the effects of a declining birth rate. The number of children available for education has been in a decline and will continue to be so for the near future at least. This affects all schools, public and parochial. Our response to this has to be multifaceted. We must consistently insure that our school and the education and spiritual formation it offers continues to be of the highest quality. We must continue working to market our school and recruit students to attend it. April Bryant deserves special accolades for her excellent work in this area of school life. We must pledge as a parish to continue to make the sacrifices necessary to insure that our school does not merely survive, but that it thrives and is sustainable. We must do what we can to keep costs under control.
I, as pastor, fully support the school. Its presence brings much life and vitality to the life of our parish. I pledge to do whatever is necessary, in conjunction with the school board and the school community to insure that St. Mary School is healthy and strong for years to come. I know that I can count on the continued support of the parish at large as we do so. Should you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact either me or Mr. Lacerenza.
The Reverend Aidan N. Donahue