Saint Mary’s School and St. John the Evangelist School are unifying to create the Saints Academy, which will open in September on the St. John’s campus. A question on the mind of many Parishioners is: what is to become of the St. Mary’s School building? The Parish Finance Council recognizes this as an important question, and would like to share the available information. It is important to stress that no final decisions have been made.
The Parish Finance Council is carefully reviewing the challenges and opportunities we have as a parish. First, the Parish will now have two buildings, the school and the convent, which will be significantly underutilized. Although sad, it is necessary to recognize that the convent is not needed to house a religious community, nor is it likely that the school building will again house a school.
Second, though these buildings provide the Parish with space for religious education, meetings and social activities, to continue to operate the buildings for only these purposes would require significant expense. The Parish incurred operating costs for both buildings of $77,193 in 2014 and $78,701 in 2015. The school building is ninety years old and the convent is fifty five years old. Both are in need of extensive repairs and capital investment.
Third, the Finance Council recognizes that it is essential that the Parish have accessible, safe and adequate space for religious education, meetings, and social activities. The Finance Council is committed to identifying the best possible solutions. This process will include parishioner input.
Fourth, it is important to honor the legacy of our forbearers who built St. Mary’s School, and all those who have been committed to providing excellent and affordable Catholic education in our community. For these reasons, Fr. Mahoney in consultation with the Parish Finance Council has decided that it would be prudent to seek permission from the Archdiocese to explore the sale of the school and convent buildings with the intent to reinvest the proceeds to satisfy these Parish needs and goals.
St. Mary Star of the Sea is a faith-filled and vibrant parish community. We need to plan for the future, for our children and for future generations of parishioners. We have before us great challenge and opportunity. Please know that we are committed to having a responsible process and to keeping the Parish well informed. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Respectfully, Saint Mary Star of the Sea Parish Finance Council.
Carol Augulewicz, George Binns, Ellen Hutchinson, Ellen Moloney, Paul Mulligan and Ron Zabilski