MOSS BLUFF – Holy Family Catholic School will not reopen for classes in the fall of 2020, according to Rev. Aubrey Guilbeau, pastor of St. Theodore Catholic Church, and Kimberlee Gazzolo, Superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Lake Charles.
In the past several years, Holy Family faced declining enrollment numbers and financial shortfalls because of the smaller student population. In a letter to the church’s parishioners, advising them of the decision, Father Guilbeau noted, “Closing a parish school is never easy, and we know this decision is painful for our parish, too. The enrollment in 2017-2018 was 179 students; in 2018-2019, it decreased to 149; and in 2019-2020, we served only 89 students.”
St. Theodore provided an annual subsidy for the operation of the school along with other fixed expenses.
The continuing pandemic also took a great toll on the school, its administration, faculty, students and their parents. Father Guilbeau continued saying, “The instability caused by the current pandemic makes it impossible to predict the future. Some have suggested that we wait until the beginning of the new school year to make this decision. However, we foresee that the current economic downturn will likely result in some families needing to withdraw from Holy Family. It would be unfair and irresponsible to our parents, teachers, and students to tell them at the last minute that our school is closing and that they need to find a new school and/or a new job.”
The Office of Catholics Schools will work with students and teachers to help facilitate their transition, including offering assistance for those seeking potential placement and employment in another Catholic school. The Holy Family office will continue to operate over the next few months to help in the transition, according to Father Guilbeau.