Play area named for Borders

September 06, 1991|By Patrick Ercolano | Patrick Ercolano,Evening Sun Staff

Retired Archbishop William Borders of Baltimore was to be a surprised guest of honor today when a new playground named after him was dedicated at an East Baltimore Catholic school.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Archbishop William Keeler, Borders' successor as head of Baltimore's Roman Catholic Archdiocese, also were expected to participate in the ceremony, which was to be a secret from Borders until this morning.

The new play area is on the grounds of Queen of Peace Elementary School, 1012 Somerset St., a school supported by six Catholic parishes in the city. The pastors of the six parishes -- St. Ann, St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius, St. Veronica, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Wenceslaus -- also were to attend the dedication.

Borders was being honored for his past efforts in raising money for the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Scholarship Fund, a separate endowment that provides about $100,000 annually to urban Catholic schools.

The archdiocese contributes about $500,000 each year to the operation of the schools.

Today was to be a day of remembering the civic contributions of the schools.

"Eighty-five percent of the kids in the city Catholic schools aren't even Catholic, so the schools are there as a public service," said the Rev. Richard Lawrence, the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul. "It's a service that's needed, too. We know how to run schools. The Catholic church has been running excellent schools in Baltimore for 100 years."

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