Bookmark and Share

January 11, 1999

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Dismayed
At Closures and Consolidation of Parish Schools

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is distressed by the closures of Saint Matthias Parish School in Bala Cynwyd and Saint Edmond Parish School in South Philadelphia and the necessary consolidations of Saint Gabriel, Saint Aloysius and King of Peace Parish Schools in Grays Ferry. In early January, Cardinal Bevilacqua accepted and approved the closure recommendations made by the Pastors of those parishes and the Cluster 70 and Cluster 23 Pastoral Planning Committees, whose members spent many months analyzing factual and financial data and prayerfully reflecting upon the best course of action for the schools.

The Pastors are formally announcing closures/consolidations to the parishcommunities today at Sunday masses. Closures/consolidations will be announced to the schoolcommunities tomorrow.

"While I am saddened and most reluctant to close any Catholic school, I approved the Pastors' and Cluster Committees' recommendations. I accept the recommendations that these closures and consolidations are in the best interest of children and their families, as well as parishioners. Although I am deeply troubled by the closures and consolidations, and I share in the pain of the good people of Saint Matthias, Saint Edmond, Saint Aloysius, Saint Gabriel and King of Peace Parishes at this difficult time, I also have great faith in the wisdom of the Pastors and in the members of the Cluster Pastoral Planning Committees. They spent many hours assessing their needs and their resources, analyzing external conditions and prayerfully discerning the recommendations that they believe are best for the greater good of the people. The cluster planning recommendations which I approved illustrate how all of us share in the responsibility to develop more effective expression of Church in the parishes of each cluster. I am confident that the people of Saint Matthias and Saint Edmond will grow in different ways of service to their community and I look forward to a stronger Catholic elementary school in Grays Ferry, " said Cardinal Bevilacqua.

The Archdiocese has made no decisions regarding the future of the school buildings of Saint Matthias, Saint Edmond, Saint Gabriel, Saint Aloysius or King of Peace. It is anticipated that neighboring Catholic schools will be able to accommodate children from Saint Matthias. In Grays Ferry, the site of the consolidated school will be Saint Gabriel Parish. A different religious name will be given to the school.


Editor's Note: The closures/consolidation will be the last approved by the Cardinal affecting the 1999-2000 school year. News Releases can be found on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website at Look under Cluster 23 and 70 for Cluster News Releases.

Cathy Rossi
Communications Director

Back to Top