Parents are shocked and scrambling after 11 schools in the Hudson Valley have been shut down for good due to COVID-19.

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On Thursday, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York announced 20 Catholic schools will be unable to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and three schools will merge.

“Children are always the most innocent victims of any crisis, and this COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York said. “Too many have lost parents and grandparents to this insidious virus, and now thousands will not see their beloved school again. I’ve kept a hopeful eye on our schools throughout this saga and my prayers are with all of the children and their families who will be affected by this sad news. Given the devastation of this pandemic, I’m grateful more schools didn’t meet this fate, and that Catholic schools nearby are ready to welcome all the kids.”

The coronavirus public health crisis has had a devastating financial impact on Catholic school families and the greater Archdiocese, officials say. Mass unemployment and continuing health concerns have resulted in families’ inability to pay their current tuition and a significantly low rate of re-registration for the fall; while months of canceled public masses and fundraising for scholarships have seen a loss of parish contributions which traditionally help support the schools, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of New York.

“The reality of these schools being lost is painful, and it was only accepted reluctantly after a detailed study was conducted of their respective fiscal standing in the wake of the coronavirus public health crisis,” Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan stated. “I have been a Catholic school educator for more than 40 years, and could never have imagined the grave impact this pandemic has had on our schools. If more assistance is not forthcoming in the longed for HEROES Act now before Congress, I am afraid even more might close. This is a very sad day for everyone in the extended Catholic school community. I send my love and prayers to the families, teachers, principals and staff of the affected schools.”

Officials say much deliberation and analysis went into the final determination of which schools would not reopen. It is expected these changes, which will impact approximately 2,500 students and 350 staff, will have the positive effect of ensuring the overall financial stability and strengthen the vitality of New York Catholic schools for decades to come.

“We’re shocked at this. There’s been no dialogue whatsoever. No communication from the diocese,” parent Joe Gargiulo told CBS. “No creative thinking as far as we’re concerned. We are absolutely devastated by this decision.”

The following Catholic schools will not reopen:

  • Corpus Christi School, Manhattan
  • Divine Mercy School, New Windsor
  • Holy Family School, New Rochelle
  • Nativity of Our Blessed Lady School, Bronx
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-St. Benedicta School, Staten Island
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Pelham Manor
  • Our Lady of Pompeii School, Manhattan
  • Our Lady of the Assumption School, Bronx
  • Sacred Heart School, Suffern
  • St. Ann School, Yonkers
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Shrub Oak
  • St. John’s School, Kingsbridge, Bronx
  • St. Joseph-St. Thomas School, Staten Island
  • St. Luke School, Bronx
  • St. Patrick School, Bedford
  • St. Paul School, Yonkers
  • St. Peter School, Poughkeepsie
  • Sts. Peter & Paul School, Staten Island
  • Sts. Philip & James School, Bronx
  • St. Thomas Aquinas School, Bronx

St. John School in Goshen will welcome the following school communities to their campus:

  • Sacred Heart School, Monroe
  • St. Stephen-St. Edward School, Warwick