Move Protects Catholic Education in Hempstead and Uniondale
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK August 20, 2004 - The Most Reverend William F. Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, announced today that the Marianists will assume responsibility for St. Martin De Porres Regional School, located in Uniondale, N.Y. The decision, which takes effect immediately, was made in the interest of preserving and renewing Catholic education in the area, especially for the parishioners of St. Martha (Uniondale), Our Lady of Loretto (Hempstead), and St. Ladislaus (Hempstead) parishes. As part of the agreement, the school, which will be now known as St. Martin De Porres Marianist School becomes a division of Kellenberg Memorial High School, a Marianist Middle School and High School located in Uniondale. The school will continue to operate as an elementary school with grades 1-8 and a pre-school.
The change does not affect the start of school, tuition, eligibility or student status in any way. Parents and faculty have been made aware of the change in responsibility.
“The reality is that St. Martin De Porres was facing grave financial difficulties and as a diocese we needed to explore every option that will enable us to continue to provide quality Catholic education to the communities of Uniondale and Hempstead. These kinds of challenges demand new thinking. My colleagues worked with the Marianists and the pastors to find a solution that would keep the school operative and available to educate the youngsters of these communities,” said Bishop Murphy. “We needed a new start here and so I was quite delighted we were able to reach such a quick agreement and I thank the Marianists for their generous response.”
“The Marianists have a strong history in this diocese in operating schools with an academically and religiously sound foundation. The children at St. Martin De Porres will be greatly blessed by the opportunity to be educated by them,” added Bishop Murphy.
St. Martin De Porres Marianist School will operate much like the Brother Joseph Fox Latin School, a middle school located on the campus of Kellenberg Memorial. “The Marianist Brothers of Kellenberg Memorial and Chaminade look forward to welcoming a new school into the Marianist family,” said the Very Reverend Thomas Cardone, provincial superior of the Marianist Province of Meribah. “We have a long history of conducting qualitative Catholic schools. We hope to offer much to the young children attending St. Martin De Porres.”
The administrative staff at Kellenberg Memorial will supervise the operation of the new school. Reverend Philip Eichner, president of Kellenberg Memorial brings nearly fifty years of administrative and teaching experience to St. Martin De Porres. Brother Kenneth Hoagland will serve as principal of both schools and several members of the teaching staff from Kellenberg Memorial will join the faculty of St. Martin De Porres.
Sister Joanne Callahan, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Rockville Centre has been concerned about the declining enrollment at St. Martin De Porres. She said, “It is our hope and belief that the students in Hempstead and Uniondale will be served well by the Marianists, who have a strong tradition of commitment to quality education.”
The staff of Kellenberg Memorial is excited to share its experience in Catholic education with a new school,” said Brother Kenneth. “Just as in 1987 when Kellenberg Memorial grew from a long tradition of excellence in education at Chaminade High School, Kellenberg Memorial will now have the opportunity to share its experience and tradition with St. Martin De Porres.”
Monsignor Frank Caldwell, the recently appointed pastor of St. Martha Parish will be working closely with the Marianists in the transition of the school from a diocesan regional school to a private Catholic school on the property of his parish. “I have seen the outstanding education which the children have received in the diocese from the Marianists. We are happy to have them work so closely with our local parishes in Uniondale and Hempstead,” said Monsignor Caldwell.
For information about enrollment and registration at St. Martin De Porres Marianist School, please contact Brother Kenneth at Kellenberg Memorial 516-292-0200, ext. 200.
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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3 million). There are 134 parishes in 119 towns. Last year over 21,000 Baptisms, 18,000 Confirmations, 21,000 First Communions and 5,000 Marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,622 students in kindergarten, 26,738 in primary or elementary school, 11,979 in secondary school and 9,310 in higher institutions. There are 77 Catholic elementary schools, high schools and colleges/universities in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. These facilities served over 743,000 people last year. For more information visit www.drvc.org.
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625