Holy Name Closing ?

salu's picture

I am very faithful in my church attendance at Holy Name but I have a special gift for missing momentous events. We went skiing this weekend and missed what I have since heard is the lastest bomb to be dropped on the Cluster 22 debacle. Did anyone attend church this weekend? Can someone shed some light on the latest announcement?

Thanks in advance...
Susan

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

I was there at church this morning and it was announced they are closing Holy Name school this June and St Laurentius will be left open. They believe this is the way to keep a school in Fishtown and I have to say I agree with them, even though it upsets me very much to see the school school close.

Most of all I am very very upset to see Sister Mary Anne go.. she has been so wonderful to the children and a few of us grew teary eyed when that announcement was made. Including Sister Mary Anne.

I do believe the cost of tuition is to be 2400. for the first child, as opposed to 2900. a child had Holy Name remained open.

That's all I can really remember as my daughter had her First Holy Communion at this Mass and my mind was on that! Sorry..

jmminarik's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

Just checked their website (http://www.holyname-fishtown.org/), nothing mentioned there.

If true, this certainly seems underhanded. And sucky.

-Joe

AM's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

It's true. We are closing. We were told there was going to be a "take ownership of Holy Name" meeting and it was cancelled and "rescheduled" for this coming Thursday. Now we are told Holy Name will close its doors in June and Thursday's meeting is regarding the number of slots that will be available at St. Laurentius to accomodate the Holy Name children. All of the children cannot be accepted. I believe Father said "there are plenty of other educational options" in the area. If there are, I don't see them. I believe the stalling with regard to registration combined with the "proposed tuition hike" was an attempt to encourage parents to look for other options and see how many remained. Father Frances also mentioned that in a few years, when the parish is on more stable financial ground, that he would like to expand the ministry with a focus on alcoholics/drug addicts, etc.. This didn't come as a surprise to me since we hear about AA in almost every sermon. While I believe this is a noble endeavor and one which is sorely needed in the area, it seems that everyone is focused on drugs/alcohol and not many have a focus on children. I certainly see his point though. The people who are most active in our parish no longer have children in school and it is no longer their priority. I can't help but wonder though, where is the future in a parish who doesn't make their children a priority. There are no easy answers. I will miss the IHM sisters enormously. They have been so devoted for so long. Father pointed out we will still have our annual Eagles party and Christmas Bazaar. Somehow, I didn't find this to be of any comfort. Stephanie - congratulations on your daughter's first communion. She looked beautiful.

salu's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

Thanks for the info everyone.

This really is so sad.

I'm with you Joe about the "sucky" part, the way the Archdiocese has 'handled' this situation speaks volumes about their lack of leadership and vision, their tactics of subterfuge, and their penchant for keeping people people in the dark.

They love to give people the false impression that they are actively involved in the future of the school, when it seems like this has all been decided a long time ago. They have truly changed the landscape of this neighborhood and many others throughout the city.

So is this the FINAL decision? Are the Cluster Study teams still evaluating a merger with St. Ann's in a year's time?

Good luck to everyone out there affected by this, in deciding what to do for not only next year, but in the years to come.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

The worst part is not knowing how many children will be able to attend St Laurentius. No one is able to register at this point and so what is a parent to do? I am working on another option for my daughter, but not everyone is able to afford a private school! Especially parents with multiple children.

I was told that members of the parish will receive first choice, but there are over a hundred children that will not fit. I would like to know how they are basing their decision on who is to attend and who is not.

AM's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"stephanie" wrote:
The worst part is not knowing how many children will be able to attend St Laurentius. No one is able to register at this point and so what is a parent to do? I am working on another option for my daughter, but not everyone is able to afford a private school! Especially parents with multiple children.

My brother belongs to St. Laurentius and they were told they would be accepting about 80 children from Holy Name. I'm not sure what the process will be for being one of the 80. I would imagine they would only accept those families who were up to date on their tuition/envelopes.

GuessWho's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"AM" wrote:

My brother belongs to St. Laurentius and they were told they would be accepting about 80 children from Holy Name. I'm not sure what the process will be for being one of the 80. I would imagine they would only accept those families who were up to date on their tuition/envelopes.

as an exceptionally disgruntled ex-catholic, i'd say this theory sounds the most reasonable. to be sure, I

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"AM" wrote:
"stephanie" wrote:
The worst part is not knowing how many children will be able to attend St Laurentius. No one is able to register at this point and so what is a parent to do? I am working on another option for my daughter, but not everyone is able to afford a private school! Especially parents with multiple children.

My brother belongs to St. Laurentius and they were told they would be accepting about 80 children from Holy Name. I'm not sure what the process will be for being one of the 80. I would imagine they would only accept those families who were up to date on their tuition/envelopes.

And there are 180 children that are currently enrolled at Holy Name. That means half of those children will have to find other alternatives. And there are not many.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"GuessWho"][quote="AM" wrote:

My brother belongs to St. Laurentius and they were told they would be accepting about 80 children from Holy Name. I'm not sure what the process will be for being one of the 80. I would imagine they would only accept those families who were up to date on their tuition/envelopes.

as an exceptionally disgruntled ex-catholic, i'd say this theory sounds the most reasonable. to be sure, I

GuessWho's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"stephanie" wrote:

Oh this is so crazy.. especially when my daughter is making her confirmation on March 20th along with the rest of her class! LOL Am I to belong to BOTH churches??

:icon_eek

well, you're not going to get any return on your investment in HN...so, i'd give / bet my $$$ on st L's!!

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"GuessWho" wrote:
"stephanie" wrote:

Oh this is so crazy.. especially when my daughter is making her confirmation on March 20th along with the rest of her class! LOL Am I to belong to BOTH churches??

:icon_eek

well, you're not going to get any return on your investment in HN...so, i'd give / bet my $$$ on st L's!!

If it means my daughter will have a good education, I'll give to all the neighborhood churches at this point. But someone please tell me it's not cash that is going to be the gauge for my daughter's eduation. I have it to give, but it saddens me that everything boils down to money. I guess I am being naive today.

AM's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

I wish I could tell you that, but it seems to me that when push came to shove, Holy Name closed because people didn't care enough to part with the almighty dollar. I would have gladly paid the original "proposed tuition" in order to keep it afloat but I believe I was in the minority. Just in case I have begun to send in envelopes to both churches. I cannot afford private school for two children in elementary school. I already have two kids in catholic high school. I looked into the pricing for private schools and it was really over the top for me. This is so frustrating. I think the pastors believe that if there is no alternatives, we will send our kids to St. Anne's when there is no more room is St. Laurentius and it will help to stabilize their enrollment. I am heart broken to realize that it all boiled down to the buck.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

AM wrote:
I wish I could tell you that, but it seems to me that when push came to shove, Holy Name closed because people didn't care enough to part with the almighty dollar. I would have gladly paid the original "proposed tuition" in order to keep it afloat but I believe I was in the minority. Just in case I have begun to send in envelopes to both churches. I cannot afford private school for two children in elementary school. I already have two kids in catholic high school. I looked into the pricing for private schools and it was really over the top for me. This is so frustrating. I think the pastors believe that if there is no alternatives, we will send our kids to St. Anne's when there is no more room is St. Laurentius and it will help to stabilize their enrollment. I am heart broken to realize that it all boiled down to the buck.[

I do not want to send my daughter all the way to St. Anne's when St. Laurentius is 20 ft away. And yes I agree with you, it's very frustrating. In fact, it's making me a bit angry now.

Am, could you please PM me about this?

dan's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"stephanie" wrote:
But someone please tell me it's not cash that is going to be the gauge for my daughter's eduation.

While that's certainly not the only factor, it's one of the big factors in education. The typical Ivy League school's tuition is higher than the typical Community College's.

GuessWho's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

i don't have any children so i'm probably not the best person to dole out suggestions but there are (non-denominational) christian schools that offer low(er) tuition than most private schools (and you're not obligated to turn in envelopes). sadly, i don't know if anything exists within close proximity...i saw them advertised all the time when i lived in queen village. st peter's school is an example. i have zero idea what tuition is (and was unable to locate on the website); it is probably higher than most other christian schools b/c it's in society hill...but it's an alternative.
http://www.stpetersonline.org/index.php
i'll keep my eyes open for others.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

I've actually talked to St Peters and my daughter is too old to be admitted to the school in 7th grade. And their tuition is about 10k btw. :)

I have talked to Waldron Mercy and I'm waiting to hear back from them. She also has to have an IQ test administered tomorrow for enrollment. Tuition there is 9k. I am going to be broke before college.

dan's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

There's one on Lehigh Ave named Timothy Academy.
I know nothing about the quality of education there.

Bethel Baptist isn't non-denominational, but it's in the neighborhood.
Once again, I know nothing about the quality of education there.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

What is most upsetting about this situation is how we have been told so many different things at different times. I really was not prepared to hear Father Frances say the school was closing after being told it was staying open another year. This back and forth bit is getting old now. I am losing faith in believing ANYTHING I hear because of how quickly the decisions change. I know I can't be the only one who is upset by this.

My daughter is bright and deserves a good quality education and it's my job as her parent to provide her with this. So I will do so. If it means giving to both churches I will. If it means paying 9k a year to Waldron Mercy then, I will. But I really was not prepared for such instability when I moved here. Now I have to say I am questioning my decision to do so.

GuessWho's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"stephanie" wrote:
I've actually talked to St Peters and my daughter is too old to be admitted to the school in 7th grade. And their tuition is about 10k btw. :)

WHOOAH! i had no idea. i repeatedly say "i can't afford to have children" ... & now there's proof!
there is a school in west philly ... the name escapes me: "something christian academy" or something or other. lots of really cute, smiling kids in the photo...don't know much else...but presumably, tuition is lower than st peters!

here's another (which might even be the one i was trying to think of):

http://sprucehill.org/

Grades K-5
Monthly Tuition / Annual Tuition

One child $465 / $4,650
Two children $840 / $8,400*
Three children $1,170 / $11,700*
For each additional child, add $280 per month for a total of $2,800 per year.

Middle School - Grades 6-8
There is a Middle School fee of $250 per year which will be added to the annual tuition for each child in grades 6, 7, and 8.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"GuessWho" wrote:
"stephanie" wrote:
I've actually talked to St Peters and my daughter is too old to be admitted to the school in 7th grade. And their tuition is about 10k btw. :)

WHOOAH! i had no idea. i repeatedly say "i can't afford to have children" ... & now there's proof!
there is a school in west philly ... the name escapes me: "something christian academy" or something or other. lots of really cute, smiling kids in the photo...don't know much else...but presumably, tuition is lower than st peters!

here's another (which might even be the one i was trying to think of):

http://sprucehill.org/

Grades K-5
Monthly Tuition / Annual Tuition

One child $465 / $4,650
Two children $840 / $8,400*
Three children $1,170 / $11,700*
For each additional child, add $280 per month for a total of $2,800 per year.

Middle School - Grades 6-8
There is a Middle School fee of $250 per year which will be added to the annual tuition for each child in grades 6, 7, and 8.

Thank you so much for the link to Spruce Hill...being new to Philly again I have only a handful of schools I have seen and I was not aware of that one. I really appreciate it!

AM's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

Stephanie - Check your private messages.

AM

AM's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"stephanie" wrote:
But I really was not prepared for such instability when I moved here. Now I have to say I am questioning my decision to do so.

This is exactly what many of us feared when first learning of their decisions to merge schools. Many people stayed in the neighborhood so that their children could be educated at these schools and many moved here with the idea that they would have affordable, decent schools to send their children to. Now we are left with this. It makes me wonder why I didn't move to NJ with everyone else.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"AM" wrote:
"stephanie" wrote:
But I really was not prepared for such instability when I moved here. Now I have to say I am questioning my decision to do so.

It makes me wonder why I didn't move to NJ with everyone else.

I LEFT NJ for this! Imagine how I feel!

I got your Pm, and thank you :)

polishcowboi's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

i dont have children so...i havent been following this too closely, if at all
but i just wanted to see if i have things straight cause ... like i said...i dont know anything about anything
didnt the archdiocese or whatever want to merge the three schools because enrollment was down and in turn, the schools werent bringing in enough money to fund keeping ALL three opened? so they wanted to merge all three into one, in order to up enrollment and in turn, possibly lower tuition?
now that they have decided to keep TWO schools open, the money has to spread a lot further/thinner so, in order to keep two schools opened, it would stand to reason that tuition would have to be higher for both of them

jmminarik's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

Thinking dispassionately, by closing HN, that leaves St. Laurentius and St. Annes for next year. Now, given the choice of which school to keep open, the larger, hypothetically more cost efficient St. Anne's and definitely bigger capacity is the only real option.

It's not just money...church politicians can make Philadelphia government look like little children in short pants.

-Joe

dan's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

As somebody who sometimes has to be on the other side of these kind of decisions (we decided this year to stop having paid musicians at our church, except for our accompianist)... let me say it's a tough position to be in.

If you tell people what your plans are through the decision making process, then people get mad as the plans evolve. If you wait until the final decision is made, then people get mad that the decision-making process wasn't transparent enough. And in the end, it's a lose/lose proposition because nobody wants to hear the difficult decision.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

Don't get me wrong.. I am glad that they are keeping a school open in Fishtown at all. I believe this neighborhood needs a school. What worries me is the enrollment number issue. St. Laurentius can't handle everyone and that is going to be upsetting to many.

All in all I am still very upset that the church I belong to is no longer going to be teaching my daughter. This is the school my father, my aunt and uncle and my cousins all attended. When I moved back here I banked on the fact that Holy Name was there for me. And now it's not. It's a hard pill to swallow.

stephanie's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

I should revise my post to say.. Holy Name was one of the main reasons I moved back to Fishtown. It's history with my father's side of the family and the school for my daughter. It was not just because Fishtown was an up and coming area. I am new here but my family is not.

salu's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

St Laurentius held a meeting last night to discuss the closing of Holy Name and how St. Laurentius would happily accommodate as many of its students as possible (up to 270? - but still leaving 100+ students out in the cold).

Firstly, there has been no official commincation from the diocese about Holy Name closing. It does seem to be written on the wall, but not yet 'official'. Regardless, with the way this roller coaster has been going I won't believe anything until the doors open in September.

The good news is that Father Frank (Gwiazda) is sincerely pumped about the potential success of the quasi-merged school, the increased enrollment, the kinship, etc. The 'numbers' as he presented then indeed looked promising, enough to get the archdiocese off our backs.

Here's the rub, the way I understand it: ACTIVE parishioners will be given first priority (and they define active as being present in church versus dropping your envelope in the rectory mail slot). Active Holy Namers would have priority over Non-Active St. Laurentians - even if they're currently enrolled at St. Laurentius- that is definitely going to be the biggest thorn in this otherwise promising proposal.

So if you're active, you're in - I got he gist that the total number of active parishioners from BOTH parishes would be well under the 270. After that, the preference for the next in line gets murkier - non-active - does that mean non-active St Laurentius folks 1st and non-active Holy Namers 2nd?

my head hurts - dogs are so much easier than kids.

jmminarik's picture

Holy Name Closing ?

"salu" wrote:

Here's the rub, the way I understand it: ACTIVE parishioners will be given first priority (and they define active as being present in church versus dropping your envelope in the rectory mail slot).

Sounds about as fair a way to do it, all things considered. Just so long as they don't hold the 'mail slot' deposits against folks in the summer because they go down the shore on the weekends.

"salu" wrote:

my head hurts - dogs are so much easier than kids.

And you can give them cool names and they won't have psychoses because of the name when they're teenagers.

-Joe