Tick, Tock

Roman Catholic high schools aren't the only ones feeling the icy spectre of death on their necks--parish grade schools are, too. That's nothing new, of course, since parishes have been struggling (and usually failing) at keeping their schools afloat since the suburban exodus started.

The only question is which one will be the next to go. And according to an article in the Fishtown Star (thanks to Project reader Bill for passing it along), it'll be Kensington's St. Anne.

The same old patterns emerge--the sudden and quick nature of the danger (or at least the announcement of it), the alumni ignorance, etc.

The really interesting tidbit is that St. Anne sought a school merger with the two Fishtown parishes, St. Laurentius and Holy Name of Jesus, similar to how the Church Alley parishes merged their three schools together.

For reasons unclear, Fishtown was more content with a twosome than a threesome, and thus St. Anne has been left to flounder. Dead? Almost certainly. Alumni can talk and fundraise all they like, but the old parochial education model doesn't make much sense anymore, especially in the city.

That said, St. Anne is a reasonably healthy parish, and will probably be better off without the added strain of a school. Most parishes are, really, which just goes to show how far some things have fallen.

Oh, and please cut the histrionics of "we have nowhere else to send these children." Come on. You have the aforementioned Fishtown and Church Alley schools right around the corner. Don't forget about your Lehigh Avenue neighbor, Visitation BVM, either, which is still maintaining a school all on its own. (And maintaining a beautiful decor to boot, all while serving some of Philly's poorest. God, they amaze me.)