Closing Holy Family was a mistake

Published 12:05 am Sunday, June 1, 2008

I am responding to the article that was published April 29 from the Catholic diocese stating that Holy Family Catholic School could not meet its costs.

For the record, from an economic point of view, with the constant rise in costs, there are not many people who can meet their costs.

I will start this rebuttal by saying with great emphasis that Holy Family School has the best parents and teachers that any school could ask for.

Email newsletter signup

The points I would like to address in connection to the school, church and money related to statements made by Sister Deborah Hughes when she stated her 17 reasons for their position.

Budget — It is not the PTA’s job to submit a budget. At the beginning the PTA was prepared to submit a budget but the dioceses declined our request of review. There were verbal commitments to the budget and the diocese did see that and refused to accept them.

Money — Money in this new budget included the indebtedness department funds. I believe it was $73,000. These funds were an issue. It was suggested that even if it was paid, we would still lose grades one through four. Your position incensed me.

Church — I admit that I am not a member of Holy Family Church and have not suggested that I am. This means when I speak, I am not speaking for the church. However, I am the president of the PTA. Therefore, I speak for the parents that pay tuition for their children to attend this school. As their spokesperson, we are experiencing great displeasure at the insults thrown in our direction from the diocese previous letter to the editor. Each meeting has taken place so that each parent can voice their position of great concern for their children’s continued attendance at Holy Family School presently as well as those who would attend in the future. The diocese portrays a pointless position of, it appears, “Give us your money and keep your opinions to yourselves.”

Of course, we all know it is not about the money. My mother is a faithful tithe payer at the church. Yes, she is Catholic.

I do not believe the leaders of this school were responsible for any mismanagement of funds.

Sister Deborah’s statement about Holy Family not being founded as a charitable organization is correct. However, let me give her some true history on this matter that may not have been made known to her.

The sister of the Holy Spirit was and still is the order that pledged their lives to the poor black children at the founding of Holy Family School. This order was founded in Texas and has given their all for the betterment of Holy Family. That is what charity is about — giving and loving those in need to help them to step up to a higher level of living leading to a better educated people and a trained people that can provide for themselves and become assets in their communities.

Closing the oldest black Catholic school in this state, I sincerely believe would be a drastic mistake. In conclusion, I thank every person who came to our rescue and listened to our position.

Thanks for all the prayers that have been prayed on our behalf. It is a sad note when our leadership gives money more importance than the needs of the community and children it is supposed to be focused on.

Barney Schoby is the Holy Family PTA president.