Compromise ends dispute at St. Mary's Annapolis schools to keep key administrators, nuns

June 03, 1998|By Melinda Rice | Melinda Rice,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

St. Mary's parish in Annapolis will keep its nuns and its nationally known lacrosse coach, thanks to an agreement brokered by the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The unveiling yesterday of that plan ended a dispute set off May 6 by the Rev. Thomas Siconolfi, the parish pastor, when he imposed two new layers of management on the parish schools.

His announcement had left the fates of two school boards and the high school administrators, Jim Moorhead and Sister Francita Hobbs, unclear. It so disturbed members of Hobbs' religious order, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, that they considered severing ties with the parish their order has served for 131 years.

"We're very pleased with the plan. We feel it's workable. We are staying," said Hobbs.

Moorhead, who teaches lacrosse and is high school president, also was troubled by Siconolfi's plan.

Public and private meetings involving concerned parishioners, parents, school board members, teachers and alumni failed to resolve the issue.

The compromise eliminates the just-created job of director of schools and elevates Moorhead to president of St. Mary's High School and St. Mary's Elementary School. It promotes Hobbs to principal and chief administrator of the high school.

Pub Date: 6/03/98

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