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Another Catholic school in New Jersey announces closure

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RINGWOOD -

Another Catholic school announced that it would close, continuing a trend in New Jersey.

Officials at St. Catherine of Bologna School in Ringwood announced this month that the school would close due to decreased enrollment.

The school’s pastor, Father Pawel Szurek sent a letter to parents on July 5, which said in part, “Sadly, the financial burden caused by a significant drop in enrollment below sustainable levels has become our reality. Without sufficient enrollment, and with continued major financial deficits, we cannot continue.”

St. Catherine’s had an enrollment of 164 students the prior school year, but that number had dropped to 94 by the end of the current school year, according to a statement from the Diocese of Paterson.

St. Catherine’s alum Yvonne Murphy says it's a loss to the community.

“It was very disappointing. The school has been around for 70 years.  And it will leave a big gap, not only in the parish, but also in the community,” she says.

This is the third Catholic school in the Diocese of Paterson to close recently. St. Pius in Montville and St. Andrew in Clifton also closed this year. Both schools also cited low enrollment and financial issues as the reasons they closed.

Jennifer Fantry says that she sent all three of her children to St. Andrew before it closed.

“We decided to stick with the Catholic schools. But now unfortunately I have to say, we've lost faith in the Paterson Diocese,” she says.

Officials for the diocese say that they will help the students of St. Catherine’s find positions in other Catholic schools in the state.

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