For the students, staff and families of St. Kevin’s School in Springfield, the message from the archdiocese was short, but definitely not sweet.
Their school will close forever next week with the end of the school year.
And the archdiocese is not terribly interested in talking about it anymore. The decision is irreversible.
As it was earlier this week with Our Lady of Charity in Brookhaven, and St. Philomena in Lansdowne, it was the numbers.
There were 198 kids enrolled at St. Kevin’s in 2005. This year they had 158. Only 93 were re-registered for next year.
The archdiocese made it clear they simply cannot operate schools with those kinds of numbers. Seven grades would have had fewer than 10 students.
That won’t make the decision to close any easier. One glance at the devastated looks on those kids’ faces yesterday would tell you that.
The closing brings down the curtain on 54 years of parochial education, and is the latest chapter in a sad saga that has seen 19 schools close since 1971.
And it leaves other school and parishes - especially those in eastern Delaware County - facing this uneasy question: Who's next?