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Save St. Christopher School

January 15, 2014

Last night, hundreds of St. Christopher Parish parishioners gathered in the church to hear about a plan to save the parish school.

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One week ago the Archdiocese of Chicago announced plans to close St. Christopher school at the end of the school year. It was one of six schools that the archdiocese planned to close as part of a cost-cutting plan.

In the meantime, parish finance council leaders have been meeting with archdiocese officials to see what could be done to reverse their decision. In order to do that, the parish would have to show that the school would be fully funded and make up an annual deficit of over $250,000.

The meeting was opened by Principal Maureen Wilson. She gave a personal reflection of her commitment to Catholic education and St. Christopher. It was later revealed that school enrollment was up 50 students this past year thanks to Ms. Wilson’s leadership. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude were evident as the crowd applauded her messages on several occasions.

After Pastor Rev. Krzysztof Paluch opened the meeting with a prayer, parish finance council representative Nancy Callaghan informed the assembly about the history of the school and the number facts of the current crisis facing the school. The school has been operating for 90 years now. It has 217 students enrolled currently. She advised that in the survey conducted at all masses this past weekend, 416 of 418 respondents wanted to save the school – an inspiring response of support.

Lastly, parish finance council member John Clavio, a fellow Lewis University alumnus of mine, delivered the details of the plan to save the school. John explained the spiritual, physical and financial aspects of the plan. All in attendance were asked to pray for the success of the school and the leaders working to keep it running. All were told there is much work to be done in volunteering for work that will need to be done to campaign to save the school and man the fundraising and school initiatives. Lastly, all were asked to give a significant financial pledge commitment in writing to document for the finance council and archdiocese where the funding to keep the school open was going to come from. And the pledges are needed by this weekend so that they can be used to support a case to the archdiocese to keep the school open.

Here is a copy of the pledge form. You can print, complete and use too.

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Response of those in attendance at the meeting was positive, supportive and impressive, as dozens upon dozens of supporters responded by turning in pledge forms at the meeting.

(In fact, guess who responded to the call to save the school? None other than Super Man Nick Karas himself who I saw in attendance at the meeting too. Nick was the subject of my prior blog post Super Man, an inspiring story that broke a record on my blog by more than tripling the number of hits of my best previous blog day. )

How can efforts to save the school not succeed with such super men and women, including you, working together for such a good cause? Thank you for doing your part and making a pledge today to save St. Christopher School and turning your pledge form in to the parish office by the weekend.

Anyone and everyone, no matter how small, can help.

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For more information about the pledge drive, and to track progress toward the goal, go to St. Christopher Parish Web Site: http://www.stchristopherparish.com/

Other links:

St. Christopher School Web Site: http://www.stchrisschool.org/

St. Christopher Alumni Web Site: http://www.stchrisalumni.org/

Southtown Star article about tonight’s meeting: http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/24978066-522/st-christopher-plans-2-million-fund-drive.html

Southtown Star article about the school closing: http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/24878848-418/st-christopher-on-closure-list-meeting-tonight-at-st-bernadette.html

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