Archdiocese stacked the deck against Gibbons

March 13, 2010

As the parent of a freshman at Cardinal Gibbons, I am saddened by the potential closing (though the Archdiocese insists it's a "consolidation') and outraged at what they aren't saying.

My son was accepted at several archdiocesen schools and Gibbons after the eighth grade. After visiting the campuses, the choice was clear. Did other schools have nicer facilities? Absolutely! Are they quality institutions? Without question. Did they offer my son the warm and welcoming feeling of a family? Not even close. As soon as we walked in the doors of Gibbons, we felt part of the family. Since we have been there, we are even more sure that we made the right decision, which is why I am so angered at the falsehoods that are being put out by the archdiocese to make their case for the closings seem more palatable to those who aren't close to the situation.

First, they have publicly stated that we need $4 million in capital improvements. While that might be technically true, it is a number that has been widely disseminated as a recent need, when in fact it encompasses costs for projects that have been neglected by the archdiocese for decades. They have publicly stated that we are "just tenants" and that it is archdiocesan property. If that is true, than why should I, as a tenant, be responsible for the upkeep of the buildings?

They have said that we have missed payrolls. Check the facts with the employees of Gibbons. Never happened.

Sean Caine, the spokesperson for the archdiocese, has been quoted as saying the archdiocese would provide tuition and transportation aid to transferring Gibbons students in an article in The Sun on March 7. Now they say that isn't true.

Lastly, when the archdiocese was considering the consolidation of the office of president, chief financial officer and several other key positions with Seton Keough, as was reported in the Catholic Review, Gibbons was told to suspend its recruitment efforts. Gibbons was also denied a request to hire a development director to help us boost enrollment.

In short, the archdiocese, for some reason, stacked the deck against Gibbons and then pulled the trigger on them citing all the conditions that they, the archdiocese, had created.

Bill Kresslein

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