I received some pretty upsetting news tonight – that after 80 years of top-notch education, service and community, Sacred Heart School in Highland Falls, NY (my elementary school) may have to shut its doors in June.
Sacred Heart has not been immune to the dwindling enrollments in Catholic schools over the past few decades and was once almost shut under Cardinal O’Connor in the mid-90s. But this time around seems worse, people say, as the NY archdiocese is prepared to cut its ties with the school at the end of the school year. Officials at Sacred Heart have been asked to prepare a contingency plan, but according to sources, enrollment would need to double for Sacred Heart to remain open. Basically, we need a miracle.
For those of you not familiar with Sacred Heart, it’s a small Catholic school on the banks of the Hudson River, right outside the gates of West Point. Like the community it educates, Sacred Heart has always instilled a sense of family in all of its students, by teaching each child about love, responsibility and most importantly, faith. This is just a personal anecdote, but whenever my own life seems a little hard, or I’m a little sad, or things just don’t seem right, I still summon life lessons I learned at Sacred Heart – it’s a place that truly made me believe I can do anything I put my mind to, that nurtured my mind, which was at times genuinely crazy. It’s a place where there are people who truly care for me, and will always stand up for me.
It really breaks my heart that this kind of education could leave Highland Falls, a place that surely benefits from the people Sacred Heart creates.
While we could surely use money, more than that we need ideas. How can we save Sacred Heart School, or even, if it does have to shutter its doors for some time, how can we bring it back? Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or if you’d like more information on how to support this effort. A miracle could be just around the corner.