To The Editor:
The difficult decision to close St. Leo School came after a long process which included parents, parish and school leaders, and diocesan school and finance officials. A pivotal factor in making the decision was the fact that only 92 children were registered for the next school year. This is far short of the necessary goal of 165.
In her recent letter to the editor, Helen Connors expresses disappointment and sadness about the closing of St. Leo School. I appreciate her sadness and disappointment. She also expresses her feeling that “the faculty, staff and the students were abandoned by the diocese.” I want to assure Helen that the Diocese of Providence has not abandoned the members of St. Leo School community.
The Diocese of Providence, through the Catholic School and Planning Offices, provided much support during the decision-making process. The Diocese considered with members of the parish and school community the options available to St. Leo School in the face of significant financial and enrollment challenges. After much prayer, consultation and consideration of the hard facts, the decision was made to close St. Leo School. It was not an easy decision.
The Diocese will continue to work with St. Leo School during this time of transition and closing. The Diocese will support efforts to place students in other nearby Catholic schools. We will provide support to members of the faculty during this time of transition.
Catholic schools are an important part of the mission of the Church.
The Diocese of Providence, with the leadership of Bishop Tobin, continues to promote and support Catholic schools. I hope that Helen will find her way to peace with the decision and continue to pray for the vitality of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Providence.
Dr. David M. Beaudoin
Secretary for Catholic Education, Spiritual Formation and Evangelization
Diocese of Providence