Friday 20th October 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

St. Anthony’s Closes Its Doors

May 17, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

My guess is that some readers of this column will know a great deal about St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, while others will never have heard of the school. The determining factor is whether you are a basketball fan.
The school is a high school basketball powerhouse. Its coach since 1972 has been Bob Hurley, a now-retired New Jersey probation officer, arguably the most famous high school coach in the country. His teams, made up of players from throughout the New York metropolitan area, have won more than two dozen state championships.
Some 150 of his players have gone to college on athletic scholarships, including his son Bobby, the point guard on that great Duke team that included Grant Hill and Christian Laettner. Several went on to play in the NBA.
An upcoming Showtime series centering on Hurley and St. Anthony’s will soon be aired. All of this led New York Times reporter Joe Nocera to do a column on April 13 about Hurley and St. Anthony’s. What Nocera has to say will be of interest to Catholics concerned about the fate of Catholic schools, whether or not they are basketball fans.
Nocera: “Late Wednesday afternoon, a man named Bob Hurley announced the sad news that St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J. — a school he had put on the map as its basketball coach — was going to close on June 30. Earlier that day, Hurley and other St. Anthony officials had a last-ditch meeting with the Archdiocese of Newark, knowing they had fallen short of the financial targets the archdiocese had set but hoping for a miracle nonetheless. Instead, the archdiocese told them it was over.”
From the sidewalk, St. Anthony’s looks like most of the urban high schools I knew as a high school basketball player: All Hallows in the Bronx, La Salle Academy in Manhattan, Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn — narrow brick buildings, three or four stories high, squeezed into busy urban neighborhoods, with no “campus” to speak of, but scrubbed and well-maintained, with gleaming halls redolent of decades of applications of floor wax.
Nocera informs us that St. Anthony’s was “founded in 1952, as a parish school, staffed by an order of nuns that taught the children of its mostly white parishioners.” Things have changed: “85 percent of its students are now either African-American or Hispanic. On its website, St. Anthony characterizes its student body as ‘economically challenged.’ Its relationship with St. Anthony Parish ended in 1992, as did the subsidies that came with it. Its building needs repair. The nuns are long gone. Which is to say, costs have skyrocketed while revenue has shrunk.
“According to Jill Cypher, St. Anthony’s development director,” Nocera continues, “it costs $14,000 to educate a student, but the tuition is only $6,100. And the vast majority can’t even afford that. All told, St. Anthony needs to raise between $1.2 million and $1.5 million each year. It also owes between $1 million and $2 million to the archdiocese.”
Nocera understands the stakes: “On the one hand, you can’t watch the Showtime documentary without rooting for St. Anthony to stay open. On the other hand, even if it the archdiocese had agreed, the school would have started next year in the same $1 million-plus hole.
“Several years ago, Hurley and the trustees tried to raise an endowment for St. Anthony. They failed. Just a few weeks ago, Showtime helped them put on a basketball-themed fundraiser in New York City. That effort fell short as well. St. Anthony has never figured out another way to survive beyond asking donors for large sums of money. Nor has the archdiocese ever tried to help the school come up with a different approach.”
Nocera quotes Charles Zech, the director of the Villanova Center for Church Management and Business Ethics: “The parochial school model is a dinosaur. As neighborhoods have changed, as priests and nuns have dwindled, as charter schools have become competition, Catholic-school economics have long since stopped working. Catholic schools have to think outside the box if they are going to survive.”
One can only hope that, as a society, we will come to recognize how important it is that they do survive.
Nocera: “At St. Anthony, every graduate since the mid-1990s has been accepted into college. Many were the first in their family to attend college. It’s hard to think of anything more important than putting poor kids on the path to a better life. It’s something that Catholic schools do very well — at least those that are left.”
One would think a healthy society would recognize this and not let outdated notions about the separation of church and state permit schools like St. Anthony’s to just fade away. Europe and Canada have found a way to do that, by funding parental choice in education. You can bet parents within 50 miles of St. Anthony’s, with education vouchers at their disposal, would keep the school open.
On another topic: a scandal in my neighborhood. I live in Wallingford, Conn., within a short walk of the prestigious prep school Choate Rosemary Hall. It is where several of the Kennedys and Ivanka Trump went to high school. I like having the school as a neighbor. I attend many concerts and hockey games at the school. In mid-April, the school was on the front page of the local newspaper, the Record-Journal, for something in a category starkly different from sports and the arts.
The Record-Journal reports the local police have opened an investigation into claims of “sexual abuse of 24 students between the 1960s and into the 2010s.” Choate has “acknowledged the history of sexual abuse documented in the investigation” and “apologized profoundly.”
A graduate of the school responded by telling local reporters that she is “saddened that it took the school this long to address the situation not only to the school community but to the community of Wallingford.”
Wallingford police officials told reporters, “Essentially what we are looking at is a series of sexual assaults” of both young men and women by male teachers at the school.
As this investigation unfolds, we should keep in mind the sex scandals involving Catholic priests. I hope no one will misinterpret what I am about to say. Nothing that happened at Choate diminishes the guilt of the Catholic priests involved in the sexual abuse of minors.
But it does provide perspective. Choate is an institution that represents the American establishment, old money, the people who see themselves as the nation’s moral guardians, people quick to heap shame on the Catholic Church for its sex scandals.
Yet now we see the same sins that plagued the Catholic Church taking place within one of the liberal establishment’s most revered educational institutions, a boarding school wherein the nation’s elites seek to shape society’s moral and ethical core.
Which means it is dishonest to blame the Catholic Church’s scandals on its “puritanical and repressive understanding of sex,” on priestly celibacy, on an all-male priesthood, on the “exclusion of women” from positions of authority. None of those things was part of life at Choate.

+ + +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford, CT 06492.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Catholic youth: Thanks for asking our opinion, here’s what we think

A survey of nearly 900 local Catholic young adults shows they fear for the future, they want to do works of service and they want to gather with other young people in retreats, sports and in the Sunday Mass. The…Continue Reading

Fr. Perrone: without an intense, devout life, Catholics will not survive the age

The saintly priest, learned theologian, and catechist extraordinaire, Fr. John A. Hardon, was fond of saying that without an intense, devout life Catholics will not survive the age. I admit that at the time I thought this a ruse to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Be agents of Mary’s Immaculate Heart to combat ‘diabolical forces’

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke has summoned the faithful to become “agents” of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to combat the “diabolical forces” that have been “unleashed upon the world” and are…Continue Reading

Callista Gingrich confirmed as US Ambassador to the Vatican

Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2017 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. The vote was 70-23. In a…Continue Reading

Pope Francis canonizes 35 new saints

(Vatican Radio) Inviting all faithful to practice Christian love every day, Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, holding them up as models who “point the way”. To the over 35,000 pilgrims gathered in…Continue Reading

President Trump: Our ‘religious heritage’ will be ‘cherished, protected, and defended’

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump said this morning that his administration is “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values” in a rousing speech at the Values Voter Summit. In his first major speech to a socially conservative conference…Continue Reading

Capuchin Priest Who Ministered Under Soviet Rule Moves Closer to Sainthood

VATICAN CITY — On Monday, Pope Francis advanced nine causes for sainthood, including a Capuchin priest who ministered underground across the Soviet Union for nearly 40 years. Father Serafin Kaszuba was born June 17, 1910, in Zamarstynów, near Lviv, in…Continue Reading

Notre Dame student fears losing birth control coverage under university health plan

The Trump administration’s plan to roll back mandatory insurance coverage for birth control faces a new federal court challenge. Washington state’s attorney general sued Monday to stop the new rules from taking effect. California and Massachusetts have already filed similar complaints. Last…Continue Reading

European Nation to Unite in Prayer for Its Salvation

On Saturday, October 7, up to one million Poles are expected to line the country’s border to pray the rosary. They will be joined in prayer by many others in Poland and throughout the world. This extraordinary display of public…Continue Reading

A big-money Catholic group just said it’s yanking all of its cash out of fossil fuels

A coalition of 40 Catholic institutions on Tuesday announced a decision to pull their money from — or block future investment in — fossil fuels. The Global Catholic Climate Movement called it the biggest collective announcement of divestment by Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Returned to Vatican Court, but not as Prefect

VATICAN CITY, September 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): Pope Francis has reinstated Cardinal Burke as a member of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court. Cardinal Burke, dismissed as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura nearly three years ago, has been appointed to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke to offer Mass at conference exactly 100 years after major Fatima miracle

BUCKFAST ABBEY, United Kingdom, September 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Exactly 100 years after the “miracle of the sun” at Fatima, Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Mass at a Marian conference celebrating the centennial of the messages of Our Lady to…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

At university, it’s risky to ‘come out’ as Christian

In the university town of St Andrews, along the narrow road that overlooks the North Sea, there is a modest townhouse with a red door. The small black plaque at the building’s entrance reads “Chaplaincy”. Between its steps and the ocean is the little Catholic church of St James and, nearby, the ruins of a great cathedral. The chaplaincy’s interior, its 1970s decor, dim lighting and musty scent, in many ways symbolises the impression I…Continue Reading

Priest who signed Filial Correction: It was ‘the Catholic thing to do’

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England (LifeSiteNews) — The number of signatories of the Filial Correction charging Pope Francis with spreading seven heresies, at least by omission, has now risen to 245 professors and clergy. That is up from 62 at the time of its publication on September 24, and 40 when it was delivered to Pope Francis on August 11 at his Santa Marta residence. Critics of the Filial Correction have accused the signatories of standing as “judges over the…Continue Reading

Trump admin makes protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” top priority

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning change of direction from the Obama administration, the Trump Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not only declared that human life begins “at conception,” but has made protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” one of its top priorities. While the Obama HHS under Kathleen Sebelius

Pope invites prisoners to lunch, they break free instead

Bologna, Italy, Oct 17, 2017 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis. During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica. Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as…Continue Reading

A biblical interpretation of Fatima’s Miracle of the Sun

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England, October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Miracle of the Sun which took place in Fatima, Portugal, exactly one hundred years ago today (on October 13, 1917), was one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century. An estimated 70,000 people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, both believers drawn by the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise to the three shepherd children the previous July that she would perform a miracle in October,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

The Making Of A Philosopher

By DONALD DeMARCO A new year arrives every 12 months; a new millennium, every 12,000 months. In celebrating the latter, how does one begin to do justice to its magnitude? The rarity of the event demands something far more imaginative than noisemakers and funny hats. There should be some serious reflection about life and the…Continue Reading

Fr. Solanus Casey To Be Beatified November 18

The beatification Mass for Fr. Solanus Casey is scheduled for November 18 at Ford Field in Detroit. “Not unlike the [1987] Silverdome Mass celebrated by St. John Paul, this, too, will be a history-making liturgy,” said Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit. “The beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey is an incomparable grace for the Church in the…Continue Reading

Poverty As An Evil And Poverty As A Good

By PHILIP TROWER On November 19 the Church will celebrate the first “World Day of the Poor” which the Holy Father instituted last year at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy by means of the apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera. Then on the June 13 he issued a papal message entitled Do not Be…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Many Assaults On The Rule Of Law

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Spiritual Riches Of A Heroic Priest

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN With God in America, by Walter J. Ciszek, SJ; editors John M. Dejak and Marc Lindeijer, SJ. (Loyola Press: Chicago 60657, 2016), 253 pp.; $19.95. Available from www.loyolapress.com or call 1-800-621-1008. An anthology of Fr. Walter Ciszek’s unpublished works in the form of writings delivered at retreats, reflections on biblical passages, letters…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In a recent issue, we addressed the problem of pornography addiction by an 84-year-old man. At the end of the column, we invited readers of the column to pray for this man. The following note from the man’s wife illustrates the power of your prayers: “I’m writing to thank you for asking your readers to ‘pray for this…Continue Reading

Love God And Neighbor

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul reminds the Thessalonians about the nature of their conversion. They had turned from idols to worship the Living and True God. By itself that is wonderful, but it becomes extraordinary when we hear that…Continue Reading

Sinner, Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog of October 7. All rights reserved.) + + + There is an urgency and clarity about Sunday’s Gospel that is often lacking in modern Christians, including the clergy. The…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Two Academics Enter the Lists Against The Filial Correction

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK, M.A. The battle is joined and the duel of the academics over the fate of the Filial Correction is heating up. On one side of the ring we have Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D., and Dawn Eden Goldstein, STD. On the other side we have, as of this writing, 235 signatories of the Correction. Many of these…Continue Reading

The Sacred Liturgy . . . The Liturgy Of The Church Militant

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 3 Have you, Wanderer reader, even attended Mass in one of the Eastern Rites of the Church? If you haven’t, look online for a parish of the Byzantine Rite to see how beautiful the worship of God can be among our Eastern Rite brethren. Just make sure it is Catholic, and not Orthodox, because both…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Middle Ages, England not only endured the raids of the Vikings, but also suffered from the raids initiated by Denmark and Normandy to control the small kingdom across the straights. Battles and intrigues were frequent, leaving little peace until the time of King Edward the Confessor. Even his reign experienced the plots and conspiracies so…Continue Reading