Fr Tim Sauppe is the pastor of rural St Mary Parish in Westview IL, Diocese of Peoria. He had to close their Catholic School. The parishioners didn’t want him to close the school, but in fact it was the parishioners that forced him to close the school. WHY? Because they were not having children in sufficient quantity to sustain the school.
This phenomena is not unique to St Mary Parish, or the Diocese of Peoria. Diocese of Trenton Bishop David O’Connell established a School Sustainability Commission to study 10 at risk elementary schools. Some may be saved, but their will most likely be closures.
The three-parish cluster to which I belong in Dayton, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, until a few years ago had three diocesan priests, 9 weekend Masses and 3 Catholic Schools. Today, we have one foreign born religious order priest, 3 weekend Masses, and NO Catholic School.
The reason is the same–not enough Catholic children to sustain a school. WHY? Because Catholics have not successfully challenged the dominant anti-child mentality of the culture. Sadly, we have accepted the culture.