BRISTOL—The Sisters of Saint Dorothy regretfully announce the closure of Our Lady of Fatima High School in Warren at the end of this school year due to declining enrollment and lack of financial stability.
Although some parents have scheduled meetings to discuss ways to keep the school open, these actions are not sanctioned by the Sisters of St. Dorothy, according to Fatima Principal Sister Mary Margaret Souza.
In October of last year, school officials shared with parents and faculty the challenges facing the future of the school. Despite aggressive efforts to increase enrollment, next year’s projection for new students is well below what is required to sustain the school.
Our Lady of Fatima will graduate 22 students this year.
“This is by far one of the most difficult challenges the Sisters of St. Dorothy have faced in recent years,” said Sister Dorothy Schwarz, Coordinator of the Province. “We
will work with families to place students in new schools and with the staff to help them find new employment. While this is a sad day for us, we are blessed to have had the opportunity in our ministry at Our Lady of Fatima High School to educate with the generous contribution of many dedicated lay faculty members, generations of thoughtful, caring and faith-filled students.”
At a recent meeting with parents, the Sisters of Saint Dorothy encouraged parents to enroll their children in another Catholic school. The order will work with local Catholic secondary schools to place those students who wish to remain in Catholic education. The sisters will reach out to the same schools to help Fatima faculty and staff secure new employment. An information night will be scheduled at which time students will be invited to meet with representatives from other Catholic high schools.
For years, the Sisters of St. Dorothy have subsidized the ministry of the School. Due to the challenges of low enrollment, the subsidies grew with each passing year. The order can no longer provide the subsidy.
Our Lady of Fatima High School is an independent school sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Dorothy. The school opened on September 8, 1965 and has ministered to youth from many communities of Rhode Island and Massachusetts providing both academic excellence and a religious foundation based on the teachings of the Gospel.