A letter from Nancy Kennon, a mother at the St. Augustine school in Ossining…
The saddening news last weekend that the Archdiocese of New York was closing two local Westchester schools stunned many local families in the Hawthorne and Irvington areas. Parents and students of both Holy Rosary in Hawthorne and Immaculate Conception in Irvington learned that their schools would no longer be available to parish families after June of this year.
To the over 200 students that were displaced because of this, things seemed gloomy. Many families raced to inquire about other parochial school options that would be available for their children.
St. Augustine school in Ossining was inundated with phone calls as soon as the news broke. Many families didnâ€™t even call; they just drove to St. Augustineâ€™s in the hopes that they could find another Catholic school environment for their children. The principal, teachers and families at St. Augustine school worked overtime to accommodate all of the requests that were made this past week.
Many Holy Rosary and Immaculate Conception parents showed up, still visibly shaken about the news, to inquire about the options for their children, to learn about the school and to enroll their children for the next school year.
St. Augustine schoolâ€™s principal, Sister Mary Elizabeth, knew that she had to help these families. She put aside all of her regular duties and responsibilities to make time for these distressed parents and children.
Families were comforted to be met with such caring and supportive administrators, teachers and parents. Tours of the school and the 35 acre campus were given to these families. Current St. Augustine school moms rushed to the school to help meet with these parents. Many gave tours but still more gave hugs to their fellow moms. Teachers opened their classes to families and children.
These displaced families learned that there was a place that they could feel comfortable transferring their children to in September. They saw where St. Augustine school has a large stable student population. That the school has the most advanced technology available for their students. That the school has impressive high school placements and scholarships.
At a time when their spirits have been damaged, these families were met with an overwhelming sense of community. They saw where St. Augustine school encourages personal faith in God and service to others while encouraging students to reach their highest academic potential.
What began last weekend as a truly heartbreaking occurrence, a week later has turned into an overwhelming inspirational experience. Many displaced families may have their faith renewed because they have a place for their children to continue their education in the atmosphere of a Catholic tradition that they were instantly comfortable with. â€¦â€¦ what a difference a â€˜weekâ€™ makesâ€¦.
Prepared as an opinion piece or for Letter to the editor
Maybe be used in full text or as a teaser for additional news/lifestyle reporting.
Mom at St. Augustine School
St. Augustine School: 914-941-3849