St. Saviour

Welcome to the St. Saviour Preservation Society’s Website

In 1 on June 2, 2009 at 11:50 am
Principal Flanagan

Principal Flanagan

We’ve developed this website/blog with our shared love of Jesus Christ to balance the information available and to provide you further information concerning the crisis at St. Saviour’s Church and school.
Father Murphy, pastor of St. Saviour Church has decided not to renew the contract of the elementary school principal, Mr. Flanagan.  Mr. Flanagan, who is near retirement, is seeking mediation for this matter and has already received a decision from the Superintendant of Schools that the procedures that were available to him pursuant to his contract were not followed in the pastor’s decision to not renew his contract. Such procedures were due Mr. Flanagan not only from his contract, but also from a moral perspective, from his 26 years of dedicated service as principal and his 37 years in Catholic education. He deserved better.
On Monday, May 11, a memo was distributed to all the teachers at St. Saviour Elementary School stating that Mr. Flanagan would no longer be our principal. Teachers were completely surprised and took to crying in the hallways because this decision was seen as not defensible in light of the success of our wonderful school and the noted spirituality of its children. Many parents and parishioners also believed this to be shocking and unjust. In response, Fr. Murphy told the parents he would not address any groups – he actually declined to visit a group of over 100 tuition paying parents who came out on a rainy night to meet in the school basement in late May. Fr. Murphy has only met parents on an individual basis and sadly has made vague and unfulfilling explanations appealing to a purported “privacy” concerns and generic statements about unexplained “visions of the future.” Indeed, his Pentecost Sunday sermon, which was clearly addressed to the present crisis, concerned how the Holy Spirit demands change, and discussed the Beatles replacing Elvis and Citi Field replacing Shea Stadium. The homily stung many parents, as it appeared Fr. Murphy did not appreciate the gravity of the situation. As a result, they were forced to take their concerns directly to the Diocese. As Bishop DiMarzio has called for increased separation of the Church from the Schools and an increased reliance on qualified laity for school governance, the St. Saviour Preservation Society is confident we will succeed in reversing Father Murphy’s decision. (see The Tablet, May 16, 2009, Vol. 102, Number 7).

“We are dealing here with the vast question as to how we can and cannot know God, how we are related to God, and how we can lose Him.” Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth (Doubleday 2007).


  1. Hi, I am a student in the 3rd Grade at Saint Saviour Elementary School. I know that I am only a kid but my Mommy and Daddy have taught me that kids have rights too, and that us kids have a voice, well here is my voice. I love Mr.Flanagan and I don’t understand why Father Murphy wants to take Mr. Flanagan’s job away. My Mommy says that if something is not broken don’t fix it. So Father Murphy, Mr. Flanagan is not broken why are you trying to fix him? Maybe you don’t see what’s going on in school because you are not in the school to see it. Honestly, you have nothing to worry about because Mr. Flanagan is the greatest principal. He loves us all. I remember when I came over from Sacred Hearts School to the 1st grade at St. Saviour, I was really scared, but Mr.Flanagan helped me not to be afraid. I was so sad about my old school, but with Mr. Flanagan’s help I found a new school that is my home now. Please Father Murphy, my sister and me are really happy at St. Saviour and we do not want to loose our school again. Please don’t take Mr. Flanagan away from us, we need him and we love him. Mr. Flanagan protects us, he teaches us and he cares and loves us, why, why would you want to take him away from us? Why would you want to hurt us? I will pray very hard so that God can help all of us.

  2. Well said Shannon and continue to stand up and fight for what you beleive in.
    My daughters comments and strong feelings about her principal and school, which she calls her second home, are a direct reflection of the tremendous education she has gotten at St Saviours.
    In addition I am truly ecstatic about the fact that my daughter is growing up to be independent and is willing to exert her feelings and fight for a cause….again a prime example of her education at St. Saviours

    I cannot imagine what this “vision” is that the Bishop has but we have a school with a full enrollment, kids who get scholarships to some of the best schools in the city and a strong parent base that is willing to raise $ for the school to keep it stable. what more could the Bishop ask for??
    Great job to all of you who are writing letters, calling the news and print media, picketing, protesting.

  3. I began my teaching career back in 1993 under Mr. James Flanagan at Saint Savour Elementary School. I could not have asked for a better school, a better group of professionals or better administrator to work with/for. I am appalled and disheartened by the recents events taking place at St.Saviour. Mr. Flanagan has managed to do something many administrators have not been able to do in Brooklyn; sustain a flourishing student body and in addition maintain a waiting list.I think it is safe to say this man is doing something right. Why mess with perfection? I hope the students and parents of S.S. fight hard for Mr. Flanagan. He has earned the respect of his faculty and provided a safe and spiritual environment for his “children”. I will continue to write letters in support of Mr. Flanagan, pray that the powers that be come to their senses and rehire James Flanagan.

  4. GREAT site, guys, and GREAT work advocating for your school. Over at Holy Name of Jesus, your sister school in WT, St. Saviour’s is respected and admired for the way you have kept your school healthy, growing, and in possession of an excellent academic reputation; having advocated for HNJ over the years, I now send my prayers your way. We have been blessed with 2 very supportive pastors in a row, and your case makes it (sadly) clear that we couldn’t have done it without them, despite all the claptrap about “lay governnance” being the “future.” (!) The contempt shown for you and your children by your pastor hurts my heart, as it must hurt the heart of anyone still battered but unbowed in their belief in Catholic education.
    You may be interested in three posts on ‘Preserving the Vision’ that I’ve done on my Brooklyn blog, CrazyStable; sorry for the clutter, but you can cut and past these into the browser window:

  5. If you love someone, you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost.

    1 Corinthians 13:7

  6. I am a student in 6th Grade at Saint Saviour Elementary School and I believe the non-renewal of Mr. Flanagan’s contract is is not fair and a horrible choice. I have attended SSES for 8 years and he has been a great principal. He cares about the students and is always trying to raise money build a better school for us. I believe it is ridiculous what Father Murphy has done. I might only be 12 but I WILL help in the fight to renew James Flanagan’s contract. I WILL.

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