Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Enrollment decline? Ask the laity for help!

In the Diocese of Rockville Centre forward-looking Bishop William Murphy has substantially slowed the exodus of students from his Catholic schools.  He did this by simply asking a group of lay people for help with fund raising. 

And the laity are coming through.

Since 2005 the not-for-profit Tomorrow's Hope Foundation has raised $4.7 million and has handed out a total 2,900 scholarships to elementary school students, ranging from $500 to $2,000 each year.

Also, since 2005 the diocese has not had to close a single elementary school.  Although still losing a few hundred students a year, the losses are no where near the 1,325 average annual loss the diocese was seeing before the laity stepped up to the plate.

All the recent "save our school" activity in DOR has shown that something like this was certainly possible here, were it not for an out-of-touch bishop who refused to give Catholic schools the priority his flock clearly believes they deserve.  The millions of dollars pledged to the various campaigns, to say nothing of the hundreds of hours put in by dozens of very talented people, clearly showed where the laity's Stewardship priorities lie.

Now we are left to wonder just what Matthew Clark's real priorities are.

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