Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish School in Bedford to Close in June

 student enrollment at Saint Thomas School:

2013   2014   2015   2016  2017

47        30       35      32      24

4 comments

  1. The number just don’t add up. The school made more than our fundraising goals were then were blindsided. I’m guessing the sexual misconduct is costing the Parish huge! That’s why we don’t get straight answers.

    “They came to light, Serbin said, with the March 2016 release of a grand jury report revealing four decades of sexual abuse allegations against 50 priests within the eight-county diocese.

    And it was the diocese, Serbin added, which allowed Bodziak to remain a priest through January 2016 despite a longtime awareness of the allegations.”

    http://www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2017/05/lawsuit-against-diocese-weighed/

  2. No notification or indication was given to the Principle or the Board that school enrollment was a problem. If financial burden was the problem, why wouldn’t the school have been given the chance to raise the money – like it was in 2007 and 2013? The school met the targets each time.

    Operations were never drastically changed to yield significantly different results because the school board members and teachers never knew about the problem! They were told they were “doing great” even after the decision to close had been made. They were allowed to wither and die because people were not forthright with critical information.

    But wait! There is good news!

    It is not too late. By working together with Parish leadership, we can definitely reach a win-win solution.
    We can reduce the financial burden of the school on the Parish while keeping the school open. It has been done before! All we need to do is work with each other and remember –it’s not us verses each other. It’s us verse the problem.

    “Better to live one year as a tiger, than a hundred as a sheep.” – Chinese Proverb

  3. Very sad and short-sighted that the St. Thomas School Board and the Home School Association were not involved in the decision to close St. Thomas School. Fr. Rich, your letter is misleading to the public, making it sound that the school was nothing more than a continual financial burden to the parish. Your letter fails to mention the financial support provided to the school through fundraisers such as monthly bingo, Beer & Brauts at Fall Foliage and the annual gun raffle. These events were established with the sole purpose of keeping St. Thomas School open. How much of the church’s “$200,000 annual contribution” is money from these fundraisers? I’m sure most citizens of Bedford and the St. Thomas Parish are not aware of the dedication and effort put forth by School Board and Home School Association to keep the school afloat. Countless times the School Board and Home School Association were told that they couldn’t succeed in keeping the school open and countless times they proved the Church leaders that through hard work, dedication and prayer, they could beat the odds and succeed. I guess the diocese and church leaders finally figured out the easiest way to close the school was to make a decision devoid of input from the groups who were the most vested and had the most to lose. Guess there will be no more bingo, raffles or booths in the future and why should there be? The parish survived before these events and without the “financial burden” from the school, it will likely continue to thrive without the added revenue from these events. Shame on you Fr. Rich, Bishop Mark and everyone who participated in this decision. Understand that the first priority is the parish, but it’s hard to sustain a parish when you don’t foster a new generation to maintain it.

  4. I can’t say enough about our little school. This place was a God send when our family was desperately trying to find alternative education for our oldest. We have watched our 3 children flourish at St. Thomas in Faith as well as in their education. To let this school close would be a failure and leave a hole in our community.

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