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Published: Tuesday, 2/16/2010

Fate of St. Anthony up to archbishop, diocese says


LAMBERTVILLE - The decision on the future of St. Anthony School rests in the hands of Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

Joe Kohn, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit, said Archbishop Vigneron will have the final word on accepting or rejecting a recommendation from the parish on whether to continue with the school.

The school's enrollment for this year is 33 students, less than half of what the enrollment was in the 2008-2009 academic year.

The K-8 grade school at 4609 St. Anthony Rd. was saved a year ago from closing after landing a $100,000 grant from the Archdiocese of Detroit.

School officials had hoped the $100,000 subsidy would provide enough funding to keep St. Anthony operating while a regional school for the parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance, and St. Joseph in Erie was studied.

Mr. Kohn wouldn't divulge the decision the St. Anthony's pastor, the Rev. Brian Hurley, and parish leaders have made on the school's future.

"The people close to the situation will know about the financial situation. They will make their decision and that will be given to the archbishop and his consultants," Mr. Kohn said.

The outcome of the work done by the task force comprised of members from the three parishes was not available.

They were charged with studying the feasibility of establishing a regional school to serve the religious needs of the three parishes in southern Monroe County.

The parishes contracted with the Institution of School and Parish Development to complete a feasibility study for the proposal.

Mr. Kohn said the decision from the archbishop could be made within a few days and likely would be made before the end of the month.

The closing and consolidation of Catholic schools is occurring across Michigan and Ohio, in part because of the area's sluggish economy and rising educational costs. "It is a trend that has been going on for many years," he said.

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