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January 24, 2013

MORRIS: St. Mary’s school closing calls for unity

Maybe I am the wrong person to be writing about this issue. I am way too close to the subject matter and am boiling with passion about my church and school. 

Most first-year journalism students understand that creates a conflict of interest. 

But maybe that is why I am writing about the closure of St. Mary’s Catholic Academy. It’s personal and I, along with many others, have been in a daze since last week.

It all began last Thursday. Sitting in the eighth-grade classroom at the school — a place I had been many times before — I, along with a few others, were told the academy would close at the end of the school year. 

As a member of the Parish Council, I was given the official announcement an hour before the parents of the school’s students. But there were no surprises. Everyone knew what was coming when they received a note to attend a special meeting. 

We were all aware of the $1.2 million debt the church/school has amassed over the past eight years. We knew there was always a possibility the school would be closed by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis if our financial situation didn’t improve. But no one thought the announcement would come Jan. 17, 2013.

Of course, along with the announcement — which was a punch in the stomach to most — comes the finger-pointing and blame game. Why didn’t this person do this? Why couldn’t we recruit more students? 

After all, it has to be someone’s fault. Someone has to take the responsibility, right?

Wrong! There is no one to blame for this decision. It’s not the school administration’s fault and it’s not the Rev. Harry Tully’s fault. It was a business decision made by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, pure and simple.

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