In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it is written: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
For the past 105 years, St. Columbanus School has excelled in providing Catholic education to the children of the Park Manor neighborhood. Thousands of people have walked the halls of St. C and have been spiritually and academically formed in our classrooms. Our students have been prepared to be successful in high school, college, the working world, and most importantly, in life. I am very proud of all that our parish school has done to form young men and women as true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Soon, the Archdiocese of Chicago will be making strategic decisions about Catholic schools. We are announcing the formation of a brand new Catholic school on Chicago’s southside, to open in the fall of 2015. It will be entitled the Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy, and it will be a merger of St. Columbanus and St. Dorothy Schools. The Tolton Academy will be a STREAM school: a combination of the best of both historic Catholic schools in the areas of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math.
The exciting news for us is the Tolton Academy will be located at St. Columbanus Parish.
While this will be a change for us, and for the people of St. Dorothy, it should be viewed as an exciting time. The Tolton Academy will usher in a new season for Catholic education on the southside of Chicago. Streaming the traditions of both St. Columbanus and St. Dorothy we will forge a new future for our students. The Tolton Academy will represent the very best of St. Columbanus and St. Dorothy! We will continue to provide exceptional Catholic education for our children, while we respond to the Archdiocese of Chicago’s requirement to be more fiscally responsible. We are creating an innovative, academically strong school that will truly prepare our students to be leaders in our changing world.
I am aware that this news comes as a surprise, and it is a decision that I do not take lightly. After prayerful consideration, and in consultation with our principal, Sandra Wilson, and with parish and school leaders, I am confident that this is the right decision for the future success of our school. There will be much more information coming about the details of this new school and the various transitions occurring in the months ahead. I will be sharing more information in the coming weeks and months.
Please pray for the success of the Augustus Tolton Catholic Academy, and all of the children who will call the Tolton Academy their school home.
-Fr. Matt, Pastor