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St. Francis School is vital to Tonawandas

The recent actions taken by the Diocese of Buffalo in relation to elementary schools has left thousands of local Catholics angry and disappointed. In the case of the citizens of the twin cities of the Tonawandas, though, those feelings are shared with another: bewilderment.

St. Francis of Assisi School in the City of Tonawanda has seen steady growth in its enrollment over the past 10 years, as well as a sizable endowment fund that ensures economic viability for the future. It is the only Catholic elementary school serving the Tonawandas and its closing will impose an undue hardship on those parents who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity for a Catholic education for their children.

Also, despite claims to the contrary, busing would not be available to those families who would wish to attend the Catholic school outside of those cities. This essentially would leave hundreds of students who would otherwise wish to attend a Catholic school unable to do so.

At a time when the Catholic Church is struggling against declining membership, such a capricious and arbitrary decision to alienate so many families from developing the permanent ties to the church, which this elementary school provides, seems self-defeating. Let’s hope the bishop reconsiders this egregious error.

Thomas Joyce

North Tonawanda