2009-11-06 / Letters

Bishop Must Takeover Stella Maris

Dear Editor,

The following letter was sent to Bish op Di Marzio, the head of the Brooklyn Diocese, with a copy to the editor of The Wave., Bishop Di Marzio:

I am a member of the Board of Trustees of Stella Maris High School as well as an alumna of the Stella Maris class of 1980. I write this letter today as a concerned parent and Rock away resident, and on behalf of many others like me.

My purpose in writing to you is to urge the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens to take ownership of the Stella Maris property and make the school a coeducational Diocesan high school.

By closing Stella Maris High Sch - ool, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph is doing an enormous disservice to the great number of families on the Rockaway Peninsula who want their children to receive a Cath - olic high school education. Literally thousands of young Catholic children of high school age or nearing high school age reside in the Rockaway parishes of Blessed Trinity, St. Fran - cis de Sales, Saint Camillus, and Saint Rose of Lima. With the closure of Stella Maris, these children will be forced to travel long distances to attend Catholic high school.

There are many, many Catholic high schools, both coeducational and single sex, on the "mainland" in Brook lyn and Queens. Without Stella Maris, the Rockaway peninsula (an area that is geographically separate from the rest of Brooklyn and Que - ens) will have none.

It was the devout, hard-working immigrant families of the Rockaway parishes who made great personal sacrifices in order to donate the funds that were used to build Stella Maris over 60 years ago. Motivated by a deep faith, those wonderful families wanted to ensure that their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren

Letters would be able to attend a local Catholic high school.

The entire Rockaway community was shocked by the recent announcement that Stella Maris High School is closing its doors. Even members of Board of Trustees were unaware of the dire nature of the situation. None of these parties knew that the school's very existence was in danger. Cur rent and prospective students and their parents, faculty, and the alumnae were all truly taken by surprise. I am confident that that if they knew, they would have taken appropriate steps to save the school.

Bishop Di Marzio, it's not necessarily too late. You can do something. Please do not turn your back on the faithful of the Rockaway peninsula. We want to send our daughters and sons to a Catholic high school right here at home, just like families in the other parts of the Diocese do. Save Stella Maris; make it the coeducational Diocesan high school that we so desperately need.

ELLEN MCCARTHY

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