Your Thoughts, Please.

This blog is here for you. If you have any insights, concerns, or ideas regarding Catholic education and our current crisis, feel free to share them.

17 thoughts on “Your Thoughts, Please.

  1. I am a Catholic who does not have any children in the Catholic schools, but have been following your situation. I think the “Martino” money is a good idea as long as it doesn’t hurt the small parishes. It might be helpful to add to those bills the phrase that is on all our currency, “In God We Trust” to show it is not our trust in God or our faith that is shaken, it is our trust in the men who are in charge of the implementation of its practice here on earth.

  2. I am a Catholic who attended Catholic Schools through grade school, high school and college. I truly do understand the concern of the parents, but the financial problems of these schools did not come overnight! All of you had to have known it would come to this. I am shocked at your behavior!! Our Bishop is not out to destroy our children-he is trying to make the best decision for future generations in order to continue with catholic education. For the love of God, have faith in God and in the man God has choosen to be our leader. What would Jesus do?

  3. It is time to send a message to the diocese and Meitler Consultants. They have under-estimated our beliefs, values and resolve. Grandparents and great-grandparents have sacrificed one dollar at a time to build these schools and to create a legacy of greatness. Together we withstood devastating fires and the wrath of Agnes. Our spirit and schools not only survived but continued to thrive. Today, these schools, with the aide of some of the most knowledgeable and experienced leaders of their communities, have submitted very real proposals to allow these schools to once again prosper. (After all, the “valley with a heart” has always risen up when presented with a problem!) For the record–We are as strong and dedicated to our families as were our forefathers! Let them see that we are ALL here to register our children for a Catholic Education. For years, we have sacrificed to give our children the gift of a quality education, founded on the greater lessons, morales, and values in life. Do not allow the diocese or Meitler to think for one moment that we will take the easy road now and stand by and allow strangers to dictate our children’s future “choices.” And in the end, when they realize they under-estimated us and the amount of students they would be educating, let them threw away Meitler’s suggestions and look at the proposals by the people they should have turned to in the first place!

  4. I understand the tradition at all schools – as a graduate of Catholic education. However, I do believe that Hoban, O’Reilly and Seton can exist as one. Why is everyone perceiving this as a negative when it can be a great positive? If it is eniviable, then lets make this a good thing and have the parents of the schools get together to see how we can all make it a positive transition. Come on, Attorney O’Connor. Hold another meeting and get positive about this.

    My prayers go out to the people of Hazleton. I would not put my child on a bus to travel 81 to Wilkes-Barre in the winter with all the accidents on that particulat rote.

  5. Catholic schools are one of the main methods of evangelization for the Catholic church. People who attend Catholic school are often the ones who turn out to be the most faithful Catholics. Unfortunately CCD classes for students who attend non-Catholic schools do not educate people in their faith as thoroughly as it is done in Catholic Schools.
    Since Evangelization is the main mission of the Catholic Church as commanded by our Lord -“GO, and preach to all nations” – The Church MUST evangleize whenever possible to everyone possible.
    Bishop Martini, in saying “We will not even try to retain as many students in Catholic school as possible” is denying the Churhc’s mission of evanglization. He certianly could have given Bishop Hafey a chance – the money they raised was certiany enough to keep the school open for several more years to TRY their proposal and see if it would work.
    The same is true for the proposal to merge Seton with O’Reilly.
    As Bishop Martino said “Fewer parents are sending their children to Catholic schools” – and he wants to keep it that way.

  6. I congratulate you, both parents and students, who share the same spirit and awareness that the sensus fidelium is not to be ignored by your bishop. Indeed, you ARE the Church and there is God given power in numbers. May the Holy Spirit in each of you guide your efforts to provide a non-Church affiliated Catholic education for your children. Put your Church donations toward this admirable cause. Both Baptism and Confirmation empower you; Eucharist feeds you. Own your faith! The prayers of many Catholic parents are with you.

    Mrs. Catherine Kelly
    Queens, NY

  7. I am a parent of a Seton student and I am truly disappointed with Bishop Martino. I realize he is our Bishop but people have been brainwashed too long and we aren’t stupid. There is plenty of money to keep our schools open. Investing in our Children should be top priority. I applaud all the parents who are in this fight. For the prior students who say the merger is no big deal, I’m sorry but you don’t have children yet. Traveling all the way to South Wilkes-Barre from Pittston is too far, especially in the winter. I hope we can find a way to start our own private school.

  8. After reading the Canon Law of the Catholic Church regarding Catholic schools, I have to greatly wonder at the nature of Bishop Martino’s plan. The success of Martino’s plan depends upon about 30 percent of the students deciding that they no longer want or need a catholic education. Unless that happens, the plan cannot be implemented. So, it is a plan devised to “get rid of” 30 percent of the students for economic reasons.

  9. I think that all of the parents of Catholic high school students should know that the Bishop Hoban building has a severe sewer gas proble, emanating from the basement. Students are often asked to go down into the basement to help move items after a heavy rain. However some student s have been overcome by the stench and could not go to the basement. During lunch time the cafeteria often smells of sewer gas. There have been incidents where students have been splashed by raw sewage in the basement. Since sewer gas is a known health hazard, repairs should be made to the Hoban building, lest the Diocese of Scranton be faced with a class action lawsuit.

  10. This comment was in one of the recent newspaper articles on the subject: “Parents are considering starting a private Catholic high school not affiliated with the diocese, similar to St. Rose Academy in Mayfield.”

    I believe this is really the best and only hope to continue long-term Catholic education in the area. Schools will continue to be closed until they are no longer the financial drain they have become on an already troubled parish system.

    I don’t blame the parishes for doing what they HAVE to do to stay open – but I am angered that the Church does not care enough about Catholic education to help it stay afloat. The only way to be CERTAIN it will remain is by opening a private school that teaches those values that is totally OUTSIDE the influence of the Church. It will be a great undertaking, but if those who gather together are willing, they CAN accomplish this.

    Good luck to you.

  11. I think we really need to claify our position as fast as possible. It seems the public is fixated with the notion we are going to picket, harass or otherwise disrupt the Bishop’s life. I don’t think that is our intent at all, at least it shouldn’t be. We now have to ensure a smooth transition for our children. While they may not look like they are bothered by this……they are. We can only expect our children to handle or cope with so much. Many of the younger students are upset because we are upset, others are upset their school is closing. Older students are bothered by having to again face another school closeing. This will be my daughters THIRD!!
    I can’t expect her to go through this again. If her school were to close again I would withdraw her from the Catholic school system and go public. While I don’t want to I must perserve her sanity and well being.

    I think this is something we should all think about, the effect this is having on our children. The signs may not be easy to see but look to make sure your child)ren) are OK. Talk to them, reassure them and pray with them.


  12. Hey, I have a great idea! Let’s close all the churches in Hazleton, and have the parishoners resettle in a few select valley parishes. After all, if kids can travel 5 days a week up and down 81, how can we not expect parents and adults to be willing to drive here just ONCE a week? It will make the parishes stronger and more financially viable. Wait, what’s that? There are old people who don’t drive? Oh well, good riddance, it makes no economic sense to cater to their needs since they take more than they give to the church. Oh and there are some who might be unwilling to make the 20 mile trek? Actually, that’s okay, since if every parishoner from Hazleton came to W-B, we’d be over our capacity. Hey, what can you do? “Things are not what they used to be.” A good shepherd can’t worry about the single lost sheep anymore. We’ve got to “cull the herd,” thin out the weak and inconvenient, so the “healthiest” sheep can thrive. Only through “survival of the fittest” can the church survive, right?

  13. I just love all the anonymous comments posted. I for one won’t post a comment without adding my name to the comment. If you don’t have the courage to back your comments with your name then what good are your comments.

    Many people in the valley w/o a heart are quick to critize but slow of offer help. Many of our older folks have been taught or conditioned to accept what our church leaders say as the absolute truth. If the Bishops said so then it must be true!! Well where were our church leaders when Hilter and Stalin murdered millions. Or when dictators of all types kill for society’s sake. Do we condem India or China for aborting female babies, no, we let them go right on killing. We keep right on buying their junk. We let them immigrate to our country and bring their godlessness with them into our society.

    Next time you buy a product made in China or order a Dell computer think of what you are doing and condoning.

    So go ahead, post your comments because talk is cheap and our church leaders know what is best and would never hide the truth from use–ever!!

  14. Joe—you make a few points above, but let me comment on your criticism of people who post anonymously.

    What’s good for you may not be good for others. If the leaders of the French Resistance signed their name to every document or action they undertook, they’d be quickly eliminated, leaving no one to fight. I will proudly continue to post my comments anonymously. Just look at what happens to people willing to make a stand (article from the 1/31 Standard Speaker below). If I were from the parish, I’d be a fool to post my name. I can be more effective fighting “guerilla style,” anonymously from within, than singling myself out—at least for now.

    City priest threatens members’ suspension

    A Hazleton pastor threatened to suspend the registration of two longtime parishioners who withheld a weekly contribution in protest of the closing of Bishop Hafey Junior/Senior High School.
    The Rev. Thomas A. Cappelloni, of Our Lady of Grace Church, informed the parishioners in a two-page letter mailed earlier this month that he was temporarily suspending their registration with the parish because of their actions.
    Cappelloni threatened permanent suspension if the parishioners continue to “harm” the parish by withholding contributions.
    One of the parishioners – a member for 50 years – said Tuesday that she has since left Our Lady of Grace and registered with a new parish. She asked to remain anonymous.
    Cappelloni said Tuesday that he couldn’t comment on internal matters with parishioners while a spokesman from the Scranton diocese released a short statement that distanced the diocese from the issue.
    “This is a matter between a pastor and a parishioner,” said diocese spokesman Bill Genello. “The pastor intends to contact the parishioner to discuss the matter. That’s the only comment I can make.”
    “Professionally, or even ethically, I could not comment on something that is an internal matter between myself and a parishioner,” Cappelloni said. “I don’t know how the letter became available. I am in the process of being in contact with (the recipients) to discuss the issue.”
    The Standard-Speaker obtained a copy of Cappelloni’s letter to the parishioners Tuesday. The letter was not dated and names of the recipients were blacked out. However, the letter was addressed to a “Mr. and Mrs.” who live in Hazleton.
    In it, the reverend acknowledged receiving a note of protest from the parishioners, saying he was “surprised and disappointed” by their actions.
    Cappelloni went on to write that the parishioners should’ve first discussed their concerns with him. In referencing their decision, he blamed the local media for presenting no facts regarding Hafey’s closing.
    “As you know or should know, there are two sides to every story, and the tripe carried in the local media is filled with outright lies, rash assumptions and none of the facts involved in the situation,” Cappelloni wrote. “But no you made this decision disparaging the motives of the Diocese and our Bishop. That is indeed sad, I am sure you would never want to be judged by so bias a court.”
    The reverend went on to write that the diocese spent “millions” sustaining local Catholic schools and again questioned the parishioners’ decision.
    “The Diocese has spent millions sustaining Bishop Hafey and the local grade schools, till we arrived at near Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is exactly where we are, and what is your response, to raise your hand to strike at Our Lady of Grace, the parish that has spent millions since 1950 to foster and sustain Catholic Education,” Cappelloni wrote. “You raise your hand to strike at the parish that has nourished your faith through the years. That says volumes.”
    Cappelloni asked the parishioners to reconsider their stand, offering to discuss the Hafey issue with them – or they otherwise face suspension.
    “As you know a person has to do what they have to do, and this act (not) only applies to you, it applies to me,” he wrote. “And so with great regret I must inform you that as long as you willfully seek to harm Our Lady of Grace by your non support, I must respond by temporarily suspending your registration at this parish.
    “At this time I will not stop your envelopes, but by the next mailing if you have not reconsidered your decision the termination will be made permanent.”
    Cappelloni said he would gladly reinstate the couple, should they reconsider.
    The reverend, however, tacked an additional thought onto the end of the letter, telling the parishioners that they were the only people out of the 960 who received envelopes to take such action.
    A local woman who received the letter said Tuesday that it stems from her decision two weeks ago to put a note in a weekly contribution envelope protesting Bishop Joseph F. Martino’s decision to close Bishop Hafey Junior/Senior High School and instead use the building as a K-8 school.
    “The only thing I did was sent a little note in my envelope saying I protest Bishop Martino’s decision to close Hafey,” she said. “I didn’t put my contribution in that day.”
    She said that Cappelloni’s letter left her with a sense of “bother” and “hurt.”
    “I’m just disappointed my pastor felt he had to suspend my registration for sending a note,” she said. “I was a parishioner for 50 years (at OLG). It’s nothing against the priest or bishop – I just thought they should (give) children in this area more consideration in closing that school down.”
    Over the past weekend, the woman said that she registered with a different parish – and has no plans to return to Our Lady of Grace.

  15. I am getting tired of hearing about the “new and improved” Diocese school plans. I’d suggest Diocese parents also review the top notch private school regionally – I know Wyoming Valley Montessori school has remarkable teachers, confluct mediation education for all students, great language programs and science…. is thtier website.


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