CRAFTON (KDKA) – Hundreds marched through Crafton to demonstrate their support for St. Philip School on Sunday.
The battle to keep the 106-year-old Catholic school open continues after the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced it would be closing the school and merging it with another.
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Almost 300 people gathered on Sunday evening to save St. Philip School.
“It’s been around 106 years, so it’s a really annoying emptiness to take it from families,” said Alexis Barone-Cat of the St. Philip School Rescue Committee.
Parents, students, alumni, parishioners and parishioners prayed and walked the “Sprit Walk Route” through town.
“St. Philip is the jewel of the neighborhood. I think what school is to so many people is so important to me. It made me who I am today, ”said Corinne McDevitt, a former St. Philip student.
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced in February that the historic elementary school would be closed and merged with Saint Margaret of Scotland in Green Tree. You will use the St. Margaret campus.
“I was really sad because I’ve been here all my life and all of my siblings, and I just wanted to finish at St. Philip,” said Cooper Anselm, a seventh grader at St. Philip School.
One kindergarten told us how he felt about the closure of the school: “A little sad and scared.”
Another young student said, “I hope you can save it.”
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Several parents formed a committee. Alumni and community members are also part of the group. They appealed the closure and started a petition. You have over 2,600 online signatures and 600 personal mandate signatures. You have received so much support from the community and beyond.
“I think it shows how strong our community is. So many people were more than ready to come and support it, ”said Maddie Hoff, a former student.
“It’s the center of the Crafton community. Everything is built around here. People move here and want to know what the public school is and what the catholic school is. Not having a Catholic school is a huge loss to the region, ”said Peggy Wrabley, starting the preschool program at St. Philip School.
Barone-cat said they don’t give up on their neighborhood gem.
“This is our church, this is our home, this is our school. We will fight for this to the end, ”said Barone-Katzen
Barone Cat said Bishop David Zubik has 30 days to respond to the appeal, which was filed in late February. She said they asked to meet with the bishop, pastor of the school and diocese, but no response was received.
KDKA turned to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh on Sunday. They said, “At this point we have nothing to add to our previous comments on the matter.”
The original announcement last month said the decision to merge schools had been made to strengthen Catholic education in the southern region of the diocese.
The diocese also announced that Saint Gabriel the Sad Virgin in Whitehall will merge with Saint Elizabeth of Hungary in Pleasant Hills.
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The students will use the St. Gabriel Campus.