Education

Archbishop Myers Announces Closing of Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy; School Seeks Supporters of St. Joseph’s and Our Lady of Lourdes to Protest Decision

3a8de1c78edb34054c66_Lynda_Wright_2.jpg
Credits: Lynda Wright
3a8de1c78edb34054c66_Lynda_Wright_2.jpg



WEST ORANGE, NJ - Archbishop John J. Myers, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, announced that he would be closing Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy, the elementary school which is co-sponsored by both St. Joseph’s and Our Lady of Lourdes in West Orange. The school is expected to close on June 30 due its enrollment not having increased over the past seven years. As well as West Orange, the Academy serves students from the communities of Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Livingston, Montclair, Newark, Orange and South Orange

Principal Lynda Wright commented, “Our school has been deeply rooted in West Orange for years. Although our students come from diverse backgrounds, we are all dedicated to cultivating an environment that promotes equality and respect as well as spiritual and intellectual growth in our students. Besides being committed to an outstanding Catholic education, we are also accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. When I heard this news, I was brokenhearted for all of us.”

lynda 4.jpg
Credit: Lynda Wright

The school’s parent community is protesting the decision with a meeting this Thursday, March 27, in the Parish Center. “Our parent community kindly asks for your support to preserve and continue the legacy of our school’s existence in the West Orange community,” the group said in a public announcement on Monday.

The school is inviting all past alumni, parishioners and concerned residents to join their efforts to reverse the decision of the Archdiocese. They are seeking former students and parents of both St. Joseph’s and Our Lady of Lourdes to partner with them in a grassroots efforts to make their voices heard. The intention of Thursday’s meeting is to raise awareness and mobilize a strategic plan.

Lynda Wright.jpg
Credit: Lynda Wright

Msgr. Donald Guenther, the pastor at St. Joe's, commented, "The next few months will not be easy for our school community. There has been much effort and work poured into our school over the past seven years by our Principal and the wonderful group of teachers on staff. We can never thank them enough for their dedication and commitment to the children of our school."

lynda 3.jpg
Credit: Lynda Wright

"A Church So Poor It Has to Close Schools, Yet So Rich It Can Build a Palace

Archbishop Myers was recently criticized in the New York Times article “A Church So Poor It Has to Close Schools, Yet So Rich It Can Build a Palace.“ The article describes the 4,500-square-foot home which the bishop normally vacations in, in Pittstown - an affluent section of Hunterdon County, NJ - and describes the “small army of workers” he is using to add a 3,000-square-foot addition on to it.


Matt Rainey for the New York Times.jpg
Credit: Matt Rainey for the New York Times

Mark Mueller reported in his Star Ledger article, that the Pittstown home sits on 8.2 wooded acres and the new addition is budgeted to cost at least $500,000 - not including architects’ fees, furnishings or landscaping. According to Mueller, the home currently has five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage and a large outdoor pool; it is assessed at $776,700.

archbishop house by Google Maps.jpg
An image of the Archbishop’s Pittstown house before the new addition.
Credit: Google Maps

Besides providing a bedroom with matching sitting room, a large study, and an office area, “the new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits filed with the Franklin Township building department,” Mueller wrote. “The third floor will house a 28-foot by 28-foot gallery with sweeping views of the property,” he added.

Mark Mueller for The Star-Ledge.jpg
Credit: Mark Mueller for The Star Ledger

According to Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness, the proceeds from the sale of other properties owned by the archdiocese will pay for the expansion.

Mueller also noted that Pope Francis, who recently “eschewed the papal palace for a modest guest apartment” and who “gave up a Mercedes in favor of a Ford,” has “criticized bishops for living ‘like princes’ and has called for a ‘poor church for the poor.”

According to Mueller’s article, Goodness also said “it was too soon to say if Myers would be provided a staff when he moves in full time.”

Lynda Wright 2.jpg
Credit: Lynda Wright

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Lola's Buy 1 Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off With Coupon

May 26, 2018

FAIRFIELD, NJ - Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is offering Buy One Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off with coupon. Lola's Sprinkles are always FREE! 

The coupon expires on June 18, 2018, and coupon offers cannot be combined. All guests must present this coupon to redeem.

Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is located at 244 Route 46 East ...

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice

*Gelato 

*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Stands in Newark

May 26, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site—the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ca99dbbe4665a685b474_screen_shot_2018-05-22_at_9.15.03_pm

Mon, May 28, 10:00 AM

Township Hall, West Orange

2018 Memorial Day Observance

Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3dd755d9dc476b5f4dc3_unnamed__4_

Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_28c899d8572458eda4f7_mini_magick20180422-110109-8dtxfl

Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...