By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has decided to uphold the upcoming merger of St. Philip School in Crafton with St. Margaret of Scotland in Green Tree.

READ MORE: Save St. Philip School: Community Rallies To Help Save 106-Year-Old Catholic School

Nearly 300 people came together earlier this month for a rally and march to try to save St. Philip School.

A formal appeal was also filed, unsuccessfully, to try and stop the merger.

“This has been around for 106 years so to take it away from the families, I think, is a real upsetting void,” Alexis Barone-Katze, with the Committee to Save St. Philip School, said during the rally on March 7.

In a letter of response to those appealing the decision, the diocese’s Fr. Thomas Kunz, Vicar for Canonical Services, wrote:

READ MORE: ‘The Neighborhood Jewel’: Community Fights To Save St. Philip School In Crafton From Closing
  • Saint Philip School is not a program of Saint Philip Parish and has not been since its inclusion in the South Regional Catholic Elementary Schools, Inc. on July 1, 2020.
  • Saint Philip School is not a juridic person in canon law and therefore is not subject to any rights in canon law.
  • Bishop Zubik has approved the merger of Saint Philip School with Saint Margaret School and not its closure.

The merger was first announced on Feb. 12.

The diocese also announced at that time that St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin in Whitehall would merge with St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Pleasant Hills.

According to the diocese, Bishop David Zubik made the decision based on recommendations from the leaders of the South Regional Catholic Elementary Schools.

Bishop Zubik says in the diocese’s new release, “The sense of loss, and even anger, that some people are experiencing over these necessary decisions reflects their deep love for their school, and they are in my prayers. However, it’s also important to recognize and thank the many others who have come together in support of the newly merged schools and Catholic education. All of us – at all times, and especially during this holy season of Lent – should strive to be like Jesus in how we choose to deal with difficulties and disappointments.”

For more information on the merger, visit the Diocese’s website here.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.