2005-06-30 / Other News

New “Umbrella” Catholic School To Be Established Here

By Charles Rogers

Early this year, after it was decided that a number of Catholic schools in the city would be closing because of financial difficulties, the diocese of Brooklyn asked that individual parishes coordinate their activities and come up with a plan to facilitate an Elementary Education Initiative.

With that in mind, the pastors of what is called the “Canarsie Cluster of Churches,” namely Monsignor John Delendick of the Shrine of St. Jude, Father John Amann of Holy Family Church and Father Francis Hughes of Our Lady of Miracles, began forming a Canarsie Board of Governors to establish a new Catholic School entity: The Our Lady of Trust School of Canarsie.

According to a letter to be distributed to congregants in the three parishes, the plan calls for the creation of the new school to be an “umbrella” to oversee the three school campuses. The Board of Governors of Our Lady of Trust, which is mostly comprised of lay people who “have the best interests of our three schools at heart,” will manage the overall program of Catholic education of children in the community.

Rev. Hughes, along with Mr. Bruno Marchan, principal of Our Lady of Miracles School, speaking for the three pastors, said “We do not want anyone to think that this will be a drastic change from the past. The day-to-day running of the school will still be in the hands of the principals working closely with the pastors of the three parishes. In fact the pastors will themselves form a Board of Directors and be above the Board of Governors in the structure of the governance of the school.”

It is anticipated that the Board of Governors will be formed during this summer and they will begin learning and practicing their roles during the 2005-06 school year. The formation of the new school and proper positioning of the Board of Governors will not occur until “probably the following school year (2006-07),” according to Father Hughes.

It was announced last February that 26 parochial schools — now decreased to 22 —in the Brooklyn-Queens Diocese would be closing for good at the end of the current school year. None of the Canarsie schools was among those mentioned. However, the diocese had asked that entities like the Canarsie Cluster, put their heads together to come up with a plan to consolidate or work together to tighten financial strings.

Those sitting on the respective Boards of Governors come from all walks of life and will assist the triumvirate of the Board of Directors in carrying out specific functions, whether financial or administrative.

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