Bookmark and Share

March 3, 2006


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, announced today that he has agreed to an initiative to maintain the Saint Katharine Drexel School in Chester for the 2006-2007 school year while the Archdiocese, in cooperation with the religious congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Glen Riddle and potentially other religious communities as well as interested community and business leaders, work toward a solution that will allow for the continuance of Catholic Education to be available to the children of Chester City in the future. This will be known as the Neumann/Drexel Collaborative Initiative.

Cardinal Rigali made the announcement at the conclusion of the Saint Katharine Drexel Feast Day Mass. The Mass, which also marked the tenth anniversary of the death of Cardinal John Krol, was attended by members of the religious order founded by Katharine Drexel, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. It was also attended by hundreds of Catholic school children, including dozens of students from Saint Katharine Drexel School. Cardinal Rigali said, "I am pleased to announce today that Saint Katharine Drexel School will not only remain open next year but it is my hope that it will be a shining light in the city of Chester for years to come."

Saint Katharine Drexel School has been conducting a self-study because of declining enrollment and increasing costs. In making his announcement, Cardinal Rigali said, "While we recognize those realities, we must also remember and model Saint Katharine Drexel's love for the poor and for children."

The Archdiocese and the various constituents that have come forward are committed to providing Catholic education to the impoverished and needy families in Chester. The goal will be to establish a better financial base for the school beyond the parish subsidy and also to develop partnerships with various members of the corporate and private businesses as well as governmental agencies in and around Chester to secure the school's future. The Neumann/Drexel Collaborative Initiative will follow the mission of both Saint Katharine Drexel and Saint John Neumann in providing Catholic education to the immigrant, Hispanic and Black children who make up the majority of the population in Chester.


Donna M. Farrell
Director of Communications

Back to Top