44° Good Afternoon
44° Good Afternoon

McGann-Mercy doors are closed this new school year

The campus of McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead

The campus of McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead in 2008. Credit: Peter Dilauro

Bishop John Barres should examine his conscience as it relates to the closing of Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School in Riverhead.

On March 12, the bishop abruptly sent automated calls and emails to the Mercy families, stating that their school would close in June. Clearly a fait accompli, no discussion was possible [“Campaigning ‘to keep our school open,’ ” News March 14]. The Parents Committee, which collectively had spent several million dollars for various renovations, was never approached to discuss working jointly with the bishop to keep the school open. Many letters to the bishop went unanswered, except for the standard response.

In a meeting with Bishop Barres within weeks of this news, two men who headed a committee to open a laity-run, independent Catholic high school at the Riverhead campus were told that the bishop would not permit any questions regarding the closing or sale of the school. Then on Aug. 13, they were told the same thing. Accounts detailing the effort to keep the school open appear at

The bishop’s behavior is clericalism at its worst. Loving service, not secrecy, is the hallmark of the church.

Because of this draconian decision, this fall the East End no longer has a Catholic high school, although there are nine Catholic high schools in western Suffolk County and in Nassau County. As grandparents of two Mercy graduates, we decry these tragic situations.

Bob and Nancy Giglio, Hampton Bays