Poor economy, low enrollment cause two Catholic schools to close

Two private Catholic schools — Linda Vista and Gateway Academy High School — are closing at the end of the current school year.

Officials at both schools cited low enrollment and the economic downturn as factors in the closures.

Developing our Catholic faith

Christian Brothers College High School Class of 2009 salutatorian Will Behrens gave this talk to those attending the CBC graduation ceremonies May 17. He discussed the need for young people to develop their Catholic faith.

Ladies, gentleman, faculty, administration and the Class of 2009:

Each senior here today achieves a significant milestone in his life by graduating from high school. Accomplishing such a feat tends to focus our thoughts on the past as well as the future.

St. Martin of Tours School in Lemay to close

St. Martin of Tours School in Lemay will close at the end of the current school year.

Bishop Robert Hermann, archdiocesan administrator, has approved the recommendation of Father Charles Ferrara, the pastor, his parish council, school board and finance committee to close the school.

The recommendation to close was supported by the Catholic Education Office, which forwarded it to the bishop.

St. Martin of Tours was one of several parishes with financial problems related to their schools. Due to the economic downturn,  the archdiocese was requiring parishes to balance their budgets in order to keep their schools open for the 2009-2010 school year.

After working for several months to cut costs and increase enrollment and donations, St. Martin of Tours could not comply with the requirement and was projecting a deficit for the 2009-2010 school year.

Declining enrollment and rising costs are the principal reasons for the deficit, according to the parish report.

St. Martin of Tours School opened in 1939, the year the parish was founded, with 160 students. Enrollment reached a high of 320 students in 1944.


In the May 15 Vacation and Mass Guide supplement of the St. Louis Review, Ave Maria University in Florida was incorrectly identified as a Catholic university. Ave Maria University, which is seeking recognition from the bishop of the Diocese of Venice, Fla., is a university in the Catholic tradition.

Amid controversy, Obama gives speech on dialogue, ‘open minds’

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) — President Barack Obama took on the controversy swirling around his commencement address May 17 at the University of Notre Dame, urging those bitterly divided over abortion and other issues to adopt an approach of mutual respect and dialogue.

“Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It’s a way of life that has always been the Notre Dame tradition,” Obama said, positioning dialogue as the hope for solutions to enormous modern problems.

Obama listed war, gay rights and embryonic stem-cell research among difficult issues that demand dialogue, but he spent the bulk of his talk on the abortion issue.

“We must find a way to live together as one human family. Moreover, no one person, or religion, or nation can meet these challenges alone. Our very survival has never required greater cooperation and understanding among all people from all places than at this moment in history.”

St. Louisans make pilgrimage to ND

Nearly 100 people travelling from the St. Louis Archdiocese were among those who protested Notre Dame University’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak at the university’s commencement ceremony and receive an honorary degree.

The pilgrimage from St. Louis to South Bend, Ind., included Catholics from Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Texas. They ranged in age from 4 to 85.

Archdiocesan parishes represented on the trip included St. Gerard Majella in Kirkwood, Most Sacred Heart in Eureka, St. Bridget in Pacific, Holy Infant in Ballwin, Annunciation in Webster Groves, St. Joseph in Manchester, St. John the Baptist in South St. Louis, St. Alban Roe in Wildwood, and St. Clare of Assisi in Ellisville.

The pilgrims left on the morning of May 16, and returned the evening of May 17, according to John Ryan, co-chair of the pro-life committee at Sacred Heart Parish.

They participated in eucharistic adoration with Bishop John M. D’Arcy at the Alumni Hall Chapel and an outdoor Mass and rally on the South Quad of the Notre Dame campus. The group also joined others in praying the Rosary at the grotto as part of an all-night vigil on campus.

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