I am a 1974 graduate of St. Stephen–St. Edward School and lifelong parishioner of St. Stephen parish. Over the years I have experienced many joys and sorrows along with my parish community. I was deeply saddened to hear about the merger (closing) of the school I love and support. The education I received and the faith that was enriched were outstanding and continues to be so today.
I am heartbroken for the current students, families, teachers, and staff of the school. Since the school became regional and not parish run, the Archdiocese of NY has subsidized each student to help families provide a Catholic education for the next generation. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the financial difficulties of the Archdiocese who provides for many charitable works, not just schools. Nevertheless, even with this knowledge, it was still a shock when the announcement came.
All of us are understandably angry and that is normal. However, it does not excuse the name calling, distrust, rumors and vile comments that have been posted throughout social media and in the press. This has been an unfortunate series of decisions made by the Archdiocese and we should be gathering as a faith community rather than pointing fingers and making unwarranted claims and posting as “fact.”
I pray that we can all gather in love to possibly save St. Stephen’s School for our current student body and future generations. In this increasingly secular and hostile culture, we need to come together more than ever. Instead of attacking each other, we need to pray for and with one another. We must especially pray for our priests and religious who work tirelessly to serve us all for the greater glory of God.