St. Saviour

Our letter to Bishop DiMarzio from parents at Saint Saviour Elementary School

In Take Action Now on May 31, 2009 at 11:33 am

Reverend Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio, Ph.D, D.D.
75 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11238

Re: Saint Saviour’s Elementary School

Dear Bishop DiMarzio:
I am a parent of a student at St. Saviour’s Elementary School (“SSES”). Last week, I learned that Father Murphy, the Pastor of Saint Saviour’s, has decided not to renew the contract of Principal James Flanagan, who has dedicated the last twenty-five (25) years to SSES. To date, Father Murphy has failed to formally advise the parents of SSES of his decision, to provide us with any reason for his decision, and to discuss his apparent new vision for the future of our beloved school. Bishop DiMarzio, under your leadership, you have previously made clear that the Diocese is not interested in weakening healthy schools.Moreover, in these difficult times for our Catholic schools, you have indicated that the input and activity of the parents is essential to the decision making process. In fact, as noted in the May 16, 2009 editorial of The Tablet, “[n]ot only has our diocesan bishop clearly emblazoned his stamp on the preservation of Catholic schools; he has summoned our laity to come to their rescue, laying out a strategy to ensure it.” Fr. Murphy’s actions appear to be in direct conflict with these points.
As I am sure you are aware, in a period where numerous other parochial schools within your Diocese have been closed, or are in the process of closing, SSES has continued to thrive and flourish. Our children are blessed to obtain not only an incredible scholastic education, but an understanding of the Catholic faith and how to live the life of a good Catholic in all that they do. You would be incredibly proud of the exemplary Catholic children who have graduated from SSES and go out into the world with such a strong religious base. As you have previously noted on numerous occasions, our children are the future of our faith. Having had the opportunity to observe the children of SSES, including my own child, I am pleased to say the future of our faith is bright.
While there are many reasons for the success of SSES, including dedicated teachers and responsible parents, the one constant in SSES has been the leadership and guidance of our principal, Mr. Flanagan.
Over the last twenty-five (25) years, Mr. Flanagan has devoted his life to the education and spiritual growth of all of the children at SSES. To see him interact with the students, all of who he knows by name, and to see the devotion his students have toward him, is a source of immense pride. He not only teaches the Catholic faith to his students but provides an example of what it means to be a good Catholic in his dedication and compassion to the children.
Mr. Flanagan is an incredibly proud and dedicated man who has devoted his life to the children of SSES. As a parent, I have been extremely fortunate to have him serve as Principal and I believe Fr. Murphy’s decision not to renew his contract will have a significant negative effect on SSES, its students and the Parish. Accordingly, I respectfully request that you look into this matter and, upon confirming the significant and positive role Mr. Flanagan has had and continues to have at SSES, you make every effort to persuade Fr. Murphy to reverse his unfortunate decision not to offer Mr. Flanagan a new contract.
Respectfully submitted,

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