Storied St. Jerome’s and seven other Bronx Catholic  schools put on notice for closure in 2013

Among the eight Bronx Catholic schools identified as “at risk” for closure by the Archdiocese of New York is storied St. Jerome, which opened its school doors more than 140 years ago on Alexander Ave. Alumni of the school, which now serves a large Mexican population, were saddened by the news, announced Monday. In total, 26 schools within the archdiocese are on the list. “I feel strongly that the mission of the Catholic church in New York has always been to educate the immigrant population,” said John Walzer, head of the alumni association, who graduated from St. Jerome in 1956. “What’s going to happen to all these children that are in the inner city? Where are they going to go?” Four schools in the Northwest/South Bronx region and four schools in the Northeast Bronx region have been deemed struggling. They are Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Angels, Our Lady of Mercy, St. Jerome, Blessed Sacrament, St. Anthony, St. Mary and St. Mary Star of the Sea. St. Anthony and Blessed Sacrament have the lowest enrollments, with 160 and 175 children, respectively. This decision was the first major one by the new reorganization committees set up by the archdiocese last year. A final decision will be made in early January. “We looked at the budget for the schools, and then the decision had to be made how we would meet that budget,” said Rev. John Jenik, a member of the committee. “There’s no way you could support a school in a… [Read full story]

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