Diocese of Fall River announces merger of two Catholic schools
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) – The Diocese of Fall River has announced that due to COVID-19 financial issues, Holy Family Holy Name School and St. James St. John School will be merging into one location to give students at each school an overall better experience.
The new school has yet to be named, with an estimated capacity of 300 students, the school will be on the St. James St. John campus on Orchard Street in New Bedford. A middle school will be established at the Kennedy Youth Center, located behind the St. James St. John building, and is expected to receive several updates this year.
“We recognize remarkable strengths in our schools that we need to build on and find ways to sustain,” said Bishop de Cunha in a video to the school communities. “These decisions were not made lightly, and I regret the losses they bring,” the Bishop said. “Both schools have long been anchors for developing Catholic identity in young people of New Bedford.”
Holy Family Holy Name’s 100-year-old building was deemed too expensive to renovate and update, expenses that could go to improving the St. James St. John campus and Kennedy Youth Center.
Superintendent Daniel S. Roy said, “While we sincerely regret having to change the structure of any of our Catholic schools, the ultimate goal is to strengthen all remaining schools to ensure Catholic education is available for many years to come.”
Roy has also said that St. James St. John Principal Cristina Viveiros-Serra will serve as the principal for this newest elementary school, while Holy Family Holy Name Principal Deacon Peter Schutzler will become Dean of the middle school.
“While this decision was difficult, we believe that wise stewardship of our resources will allow our students to receive the best possible Catholic education in a new school that will allow our students to thrive, and our community to grow,” said Roy.