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The final day of classes at Rochester’s Holy Cross School, in Charlotte, is Friday, June 20.
The Holy Cross parish fought “long and hard” to retain its school, says parish member Karen Henrichs, but is fighting no longer.
“We still wanted the okay of the bishop and didn’t want to go beyond the bishop’s wishes,” said Henrichs, who is also the coordinator of parish ministries.
Diocese of Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark announced early this year that 13 elementary schools in the diocese would be closing this month. Holy Cross is among them.
Parents had developed a plan to save the school, as was the case with some of the other schools, but Clark decided to stick with his decision, saying it would benefit the remaining 11 elementary schools in the diocese.
Now, parish members will pay their respects to the school and add a message of hope for the future. They will hold a Mass of Hope at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, June 22, in front of the school. Students, teachers past and present, alumni, and friends of Holy Cross School have been invited to the special outdoor service.
The Mass, said school spokeswoman Karen Cavacos, is meant to celebrate the 110 years during which the school — known as the Beacon of Hope — has brought the Light of Christ to the Charlotte community. The historic Rochester Genesee Lighthouse is right behind the church and school.
The Mass also will celebrate the youth ministries that the school building will continue to house. This year, the school had 186 students in preschool through eighth grade and will continue to have a preschool, Henrichs said.
This summer, the parish is also launching a new, 10-week Summer Adventure Program for children ages 3 to 11. The program is a day-care alternative and will have theme weeks and activities.
“There’s always been a wonderful relationship between the parish and school,” Henrichs said.
The parish has about 2,000 members and the school drew students from Rochester, Irondequoit, Greece and Hilton.
Sunday’s Mass will be followed by a school open house with refreshments. Memorabilia from past decades will be on view in the school cafeteria. In the event of rain, the Mass will be held in the church.
My compliments to both Karens on their remarkable restraint. My comments would probably not have been fit to print.