PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Friday that two elementary schools would be closing, and two others would be merging together, citing financial concerns stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Saint Patrick School in Canonsburg will close, effective June 30, 2020.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School in Natrona Heights will close, effective June 30, 2020.
Saint Joseph Elementary School in Verona and Saint John the Baptist School in Plum Borough will merge, effective July 1, 2020.
Bishop David Zubik approved the closures and merger after hearing recommendations from regional boards and pastors based on financial situations and enrollment projections.
“I know this news deeply impacts the hearts of our principals, teachers, school families, and other supporters of Catholic education. It impacts mine as well,” Bishop David Zubik said in a press release.
“Schools are not just buildings. They represent communities that provide important faith formation for our children. I pray that we will be able to come together in the midst of these changes to be grateful for what we have, and to continue to be good stewards of what we are able to utilize to provide Catholic education to our communities,” Zubik said.
“Sadly, with funding sources critically reduced due to the impact of the global pandemic, we do not have the ability to financially sustain every one of our school buildings,” Bishop Zubik said. “However, our spiritual and financial commitment to Catholic education remains strong. These decisions were made with exactly that mission in mind – to preserve and protect Catholic education in our diocese.”