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Letters: Don't close six Catholic schools

St. Ignatius Loyola School in Hicksville. (Dec. 8,

St. Ignatius Loyola School in Hicksville. (Dec. 8, 2011) Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Regarding "Parents take case to Rome" [News, May 9], during the last five months, parents and I from six Catholic schools slated for closure have been writing letters, attending rallies and attempting to bring new marketing ideas to the diocese, ideas that have worked in other parts of this country with similar demographics, taxes and wealth.

Bishop William Murphy and Sister Joanne Callahan, the diocese's superintendent of schools, decided that they will go forward with their closure plan, even though some of these schools have large bank balances and recent increases in enrollment. Our school was informed it will be closed before it is in trouble, as a preventive measure.

It is a sad day in the diocese. The leaders will not listen to any ideas that would improve our schools or parishes. Sadly, both are dying here on Long Island under the current Rockville Centre leadership.

Anthony J. Catanese Jr., Sayville

Many Catholic schools are closing. I decided to see for myself why.

I rang the bell of St. Ignatius Loyola School in Hicksville, which is slated to close. I had no idea what I would encounter.

I saw a thriving, inspiring and very much alive school with dedicated teachers, well-spoken students, high-quality work, differentiated approaches, high-level reading materials, and most important, a spirit that cannot be found just anywhere. Positive energy abounded.

Let's share what great things are really going on in these schools. Why are we so quiet about this?

These schools are state of the art, innovative learning environments. There is a not-spoiled element, a high value on work ethic, and a sense of responsibility in one's life and to others. I saw the society that most of us wish we had.

It's not too late for St. Ignatius. If you saw what will be lost, your heart would break. Now is the time to at least try Catholic education again, to see and experience the new Catholic school.

Patricia Flynn Schwarcz, Syosset

Editor's note: The writer is a retired New York City public school principal.


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