Revitalizing Catholic Elementary Schools On Long Island

Diocese of Rockville Centre partners with the Marianists on 2020 action plan

Brother Thomas Cleary, S.M., chief revitalization officer, Morning Star Initiative and president of Chaminade High School, with Bishop John Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre. (Photo courtesy of DRVC Office of Communications/Gregory A. Shemitz)

The Diocese of Rockville Centre (DRVC) announced the Morning Star Initiative, a bold plan for the revitalization of Catholic elementary school education on Long Island. In partnership with the Marianists, who operate two high schools, a middle school and one elementary school on Long Island, the Diocese is undertaking a comprehensive review of the DRVC elementary schools in 2020, leading to an action plan to restore a robust Catholic culture, academic excellence and fiscally sustainable schools.

Bishop John Barres, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, believes the initiative is critical to the strength and longevity of Catholic parishes, communities and education on Long Island since most Catholic elementary schools have struggled with enrollment, school building maintenance, and teacher salaries in recent years. Some schools have even been forced to close.

“The core of this initiative is to foster the educational and spiritual development of our students,” Bishop Barres said.“We owe it to our parents, families, teachers, parishes, alumni and communities to provide a robust, evangelizing Catholic education for Long Island children. The Morning Star Initiative establishes four pillars to renew and transform Catholic education on Long Island,”

The Diocese has asked Brother Thomas Cleary, S.M., president of Chaminade High School, to serve as the Chief Revitalization Officer and to spearhead this effort. Brother Thomas will be assisted by his fellow Marianists. The comprehensive effort will seek feedback and ideas from the full spectrum of those with a stake in a revitalized Catholic elementary education: students, parents, teachers, administrators, priests, parish leaders, alumni and community supporters.

Morning Star Initiative team on a full review of each Catholic elementary school and making thoughtful recommendations on how they will not only survive, but thrive, in the years ahead. We believe this is our mission.”

“Our founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, believed one of the key characteristics of Marianist education is the openness to adaptation and change. This initiative is a great example of that philosophy,” Brother Thomas added. He will continue as president of Chaminade High School.

The Morning Star Initiative will commence with stakeholder engagement during the first half of the year. It is expected that the review will be completed towards the end of 2020. The Diocese does not intend to close or consolidate any additional school for the fall 2020 school year.

—Submitted by The Diocese of Rockville Centre

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Anton Media Staff
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