Sunday, March 4, 2007

The song that will stuck in a lot of ears for a long time to come, even if the school goes..

We sing our praise to alma mater the school we all love.
We raise heart and voice in joyous acclaim.
We cherish you and all you teach us.
Blue and gold your colors our fame.
We will be true to the ideals that are strong heritage.
From on high you reign our true beacon light;
Now let's sing out in happy chorus.
Praise to our dear school,
Cardinal Brennan High!

I'm from the graduating class of '99, around the same year we saw a brand new version of the song written for the school by a priest that was just transferred this year to a new parish, himself.

It was a great show of spirit and unity at the meeting tonight.. A proud and peaceful protest that demanded the time and attention of the men and woman up on the stage.

WNEP was there..

The story from their site..

Their newscast tonight showed video of the Alma Mater being sung before the event..

Initial dispatches..

There was a light snow falling down on Cardinal Brennan when parents, students, priests, nuns, parents, media, and other interested parties arrived for the scheduled 2pm meeting about the future of Cardinal Brennan Jr/Sr High..

Several hundred people lined the field house of the school, jammed in to hear the words of the decision makers that will soon announce what they say the fate of CB should be..

The pastoral council was just about to begin their presentation when students erupted in the Alma Mater. Parents and alumni joined in, ending with a stomping, loud applause..

The initial report: Just as some expected. The door has been left open, at least it appears, that CB could possibly stay open.. The next meeting will be mid-month, the council announced.. They'd submit their recommendation on the school to the Bishop, who then would make his decision..

Even though the process sounds official, it also sounded that way before. Other dioceses faced the same types of meetings.. other schools faced the same types of words..

And schools still ended up closing..

Perhaps the same fate for CB awaits. Maybe not. Time will tell.

But at least this day, telephone poles and yards were lined with signs in support of Cardinal Brennan, past and present, and future..

More coming..

Editorial on D Day

A great editorial in today's Pottsville REPUBLICAN

Some thoughts before the storm..

Parents, alumni..students. All ready for today. I am more than certain though that the Allentown diocese is, as well..

An interesting thing happened this weekend. I saw a few folks that attended Cardinal Brennan, and in their old age they have become some of the biggest contributors to the school. Family name withheld.

I brought up the possibility that Cardinal Brennan may close. The husband of the family quickly got up and covered his mouth. I was confused, until his wife said that he has been having chest pains since the news started coming out.. Of course I felt terrible..

But that is exactly what it comes down to: A generation, and a history. The fact that Cardinal Brennan was a private school doesn't make it any less important. I even heard one argument that since CB was so expensive (at least in the last 4 or 5 years especially) the chances it closes won't hurt anyone but rich people... It may come down to a us vs them philosophy for some people, but 'the rich' are not 'the evil'. And the wealthty make sacrifices by sending children to private schools just as 'poor' do.

Furthermore, there have been more than wealthy people that went to CB in its history, granted the wealthy were included with alumni and students. However, percentage wise, since public school districts have more students in general, there will also be rich there, too.

Throughout generations, some principals made it easier for students of a lesser than wealthy background to attend school; years ago Father Frans Berkhout made a promise that any child of any background that wanted a Catholic education would get one.

There's something even bigger, though.

Kids don't go to Church like their parents and godparents.. Kids don't keep the same faith obligations as their ancestors. Things have changed.

And arguably, it's not just the kids. It is also a Church that handles church and school closings in less than respectable ways. It could be the last few years worth of news stories of priests gone bad. It could be the sneaking suspicion that money is a bigger issue than student involvement with Catholic education.

There are a lot of factors that go into this story.. A lot of back stories.. A lot of feelings and emotions. And a like of fears.

Fears for junior class persons that will not have the same chances if their school suddenly shuts down and their parents have to seek out a new school just for one more year.. and then what about colleges..?

A lot of questions. And judging from how Catholic schools have been closed in the Coal Region before, probably not as many answers.

But that won't stop people from fighting for something they believe deep in their hearts is important for their future.. And past.

Today is it..