Families fight to keep St. Francis open

Faculty and parents are giving it their all to keep St. Francis of Assisi open. Some parents say if they close this is not just affecting the kids, but the whole family.

Some students are already registered for the next school year at St. Francis of Assisi, even though it’s one of the ten Catholic schools slated to close at the end of this school year. The school community wants to get enrollment numbers in to show how strong the student base is.

Home School Association Vice President Robert Patkalitysky said, “I think you have to have hope. I don’t want to call it a fight but you have to light the fight. I haven’t seen the documentation I haven’t seen anything that gives a reason to close.”

Some faculty say they hope that the Buffalo Diocese will change its mind on the decision to close St. Francis.

Interim Principal Louise Lopardi said, “My prayer every day is to be a part of the Diocese of Buffalo for years to come.”

The diocese says they will not respond through the media but that those conversations will be between the parties involved.

Attorney Mark Saltarelli said, “I’ve been ready, willing and able to engage in a meaningful conversation to keep this school open and so far nobody has engaged me in that conversation.”

School officials are optimistic. They believe enrollment could increase next year, with more than 200 students. In regards to the appeal, under canon law the bishop has 30 days to respond to it, if that doesn’t work Saltarelli could take it to the next level, and all the way to the Vatican.

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