St. Clare Catholic School could be closing its doors at the end of this school year.
According to a release by the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Father Eric Kunz, pastor of St. Clare Catholic Parish, sent a recommendation to close the school at the end of the 2017-18 year to Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.
Father Kunz informed parishioners and school families at a meeting Thursday, March 8. It was also mentioned in a parish bulletin.
Below is the statement from Gabe Jones, media relations specialist for the Archdiocese of St. Louis:
“The decision to make the recommendation was reached in order to ensure the parish is a good steward of its limited resources.
“Father Kunz had extensive discussions with the Catholic Education Office and other departments of the Archdiocese of St. Louis before making the recommendation.”
In a letter to the parish, Father Kunz expressed sadness that the parish will “have to close this chapter of our story,” but he reminded parishioners that they “are being called by Christ and challenged to pull together as a parish family,” and “that while our mission is changing, it isn’t ending.”
The parish was founded in 1857 and the school began in 1941. In 1958, the school saw its peak enrollment at 140 students. Enrollment has been below 100 since the early 1980s.
Except for one year since the 2010-11 academic year, enrollment has been below 70.
If the recommendation is accepted, the parish will assist the 38 current students in enrolling at other area Catholic schools, including Immaculate Conception in Union and St. Anthony in Sullivan.