The grammar school I graduated from is closing. St. Mary’s of the Assumption graduated its last class on Friday, July 3, to the tears of many former students.
The school had been fighting to stay open for nearly two years (I even wrote an article about it for last year’s Journalism class, long before the local papers picked it up) but the Archdiocese and Cardinal O’Malley refused to listen. Even after parents raised $335,000 in a last effort to keep the school open, the Archdiocese of Boston still refused to keep St. Mary’s open.
There was some hope when a Texas man with no connection to the school decided to come in and help, moved after reading about the closure on the Internet.
Unfortunately, St. Mary’s supporters have lost the battle. Now the pastor, Fr. Jorge Reyes, is being sent away from the church and school.
This was all to make way for the new Lawrence Catholic Academy, which merges Our Lady of Good Council and St. Patrick’s. The new academy will be built on St. Patrick’s current location.
Anyone who lives in Lawrence can spot the class conflict here. St. Patrick’s is located in South Lawrence, the richer side of the city, while St. Mary’s is located in North Lawrence, the poorer side. Most students are Hispanic, walk to St. Mary’s, and come from families that likely won’t be able to afford the new Catholic Academy. The Archdiocese is coldly ending Catholic education for underprivileged Hispanics, denying an opportunity that has served me well in life.
The school played a big role in my life and I hate to see it close, especially like this.