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Saint Joseph School, Meriden, to close at the end of this academic year

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Students are Encouraged to Enroll at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School

HARTFORD, Conn. (March 27, 2017) After a financial review by the pastor and parish trustees, it was determined that Saint Joseph School in Meriden will close at the end of the academic year.  The decision was made due to serious financial shortfalls that would occur should the school continue beyond the current school year. The announcement was made by school pastor Rev. Gerald Dziedzic on Monday evening at a meeting for teachers, school board members, and families.

“It is with sadness in my heart that I have to make this announcement. Saint Joseph School, which is more than 100 years old, has served our community and its students extremely well, but the financial resources to continue are not available,” said Rev. Dziedzic. At the same time, Rev. Dziedzic noted, discussions involving the Archdiocesan pastoral planning process had already pointed to the likelihood that there would only be one Catholic school in Meriden.  He added that he is “very hopeful” that families will join together as one strong Catholic school community, with sustainable finances and enrollment for the future.

The hope is that Saint Joseph’s 149 students, in grades pre-k through grade eight, will consider attending Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC), which is located a quarter of a mile away in Meriden.

Currently, OLMC School has over 200 students, enrolled in pre-k through grade eight, and will provide the room to accommodate Saint Joseph students. OLMC Principal Christa Chodkowski says she will welcome students and their families with open arms.

“Bringing these two faith-filled, tradition-rich communities together as one family would be a grace from God and would provide tremendous hope for the preservation and growth of Catholic education in the city of Meriden,” said Chodkowski.  “This is a time to come together for the sake of our children and future generations.”

The decision to close Saint Joseph School comes at a time when the Archdiocese of Hartford is undergoing a pastoral planning process to reposition itself to best serve the faithful of the Archdiocese in the future. Final decisions regarding the future of Meriden parishes are still not finalized.

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