Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Independent Catholic School?

With very little fanfare an organization called St. John Bosco Schools has been set up. According to its website,

St. John Bosco Schools is a private, independent co-educational school with curriculum consistent with the Magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. SJBS operates independently of the Diocesan parochial system and is not affiliated with any parish. Yet we intend to maintain open and collegial relations with the Diocese of Rochester, and recognize and respect the proper jurisdiction of the local Bishop in matters relevant to instruction in the doctrines and beliefs of the Catholic Faith.

The website also is announcing a meeting for this evening:

Please join us for our Informational Meeting on Tuesday, May 20th at 7 PM in the Conference Room on the 3rd Floor in building # 350 in Linden Oaks Office Park. Dinner will be provided.

The objective of the meeting will be for us to discuss the plans for St. John Bosco Schools, and to identify potential members of the Board of Trustees. A representative from NAPC*IS (the National Association of Private Catholic* Independent Schools) will be on hand to offer insight as well, and we will have plenty of time for question and answer.

Dr. Dan Guernsey, Headmaster of the Ave Maria Grammar and Preparatory School (in Ave Maria, Florida) and Board Member of the National Association of Private Catholic* Independent Schools (NAPC*IS) has accepted our invitation to join us at the meeting and discuss his perspective on what it will take to get a new, independent school off the ground.

Tip: Eugene Michael


CathParent2 said...

This is the immediate future of Catholic education in our diocese. The bishop has proven an inability and lack of commitment to run the Catholic schools. His recent letters to the pastors at Holy Cross, Holy Trinity and St. John Rochester (thanks but no thanks and I told you so, now move on)show he has no desire to even contemplate a future for the diocesan schools.
If this school and others like it can be started, it will guarantee that there is a foundation for the next bishop to build on. I'm glad they were able to find a suitable building that is outside diocesan control, as that's all that stopped Holy Cross and Holy Trinity from doing the same thing.

CathParent said...

The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. It must be a complete nightmare for the bishop: money being spent on Catholic education that he cannot control. I bet the donations will pour in.
He would have been better off if he had let one or two parent groups try to save their schools and fail on their own. At least that wouldn't take students out of his system. This surely will. Even if they were independent and rented the buildings, the parishes, and therefore the diocese, would have benefited financially.
There's also the problem that he cannot control the curriculum. They might turn out more conservative Catholics than the MCCS, Heaven forbid (ha, ha).

Mike said...


If they truly adopt a "curriculum consistent with the Magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church" and hire teachers who think that way, they most certainly will be turning out conservative Catholics.


I'm especially intrigued by the use of "schools" (note the plural) in their name. Could they be thinking about opening more than one school? I would expect to see one somewhere in the SJR area, but where would they locate a second? Or a third?

CathParent said...

I would expect the city, if they are committed to the mission aspect of Catholic schools. The more the better. If several of the parent groups that wanted independence went in together they could share some of the common expenses, such as payroll and benefits.

Mike said...


Good points.

Rumor has it that when the SaveSJR group went to the diocese with their plan last February they already had well over $1 million in pledges. I know that Holy Cross had about $330,000 cash-in-hand when they made their pitch. Not sure about the other groups, but the total has to be over $2 million, and all without any formal pledge drive that I know of.

So $$$ shouldn't be a problem. Suitable building(s) might be, however. And time.

Also, McQuaid is reportedly interested in starting a city junior high but I haven't heard whether they can get it up and running in the 15 weeks between now and September.

CathParent said...

From what I hear, the Jesuits are up to something, but I don't know if it will be for September. I'm not sure if it will be directly affiliated with McQuaid or not. If I hear something more concrete I will let you know and get you a source to verify my info.

Mike said...