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On his way out, O'Brien closes one more school

In the March 15 Baltimore Sun, Steve Kilar wrote a brief article entitled, "St. Ambrose School in Park Heights is closing." He quoted a statement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which said that "due to the low enrollment, St. Ambrose has been unable to meet financial obligations ... without assistance from the Archdiocese." St. Ambrose will close at the end of the school year in June.

Apostolic AdministratorEdwin O'Brienis not very popular with many Catholic parishioners of the diocese. A good part of the unpopularity stems from decisions like refusing to sell the empty St. Anthony's School to the Baltimore International Academy for use as a charter school; his decision to close 13 Catholic elementary schools, which were predominantly located in West Baltimore's poorer neighborhoods; his decision in 2010 to close Cardinal Gibbons; and his abrupt decision in 2009 to close Towson Catholic High School even before he received the final report and recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee he himself had established. The archdiocese has now closed another school, St. Ambrose, which was presumably not mentioned for closure in the Blue Ribbon Committee report.

It is my understanding that approximately 60 percent of students from the closed schools are now enrolled in other Catholic schools. What has happened to the 40 percent lost in the process? I believe, for the good of the city and its many school systems, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien should declare "Mission Accomplished" and immediately begin his new assignment from Pope Benedict XVI.

Our mission as Christians has just begun — to find and educate the 40 percent of students who have not enrolled in other Catholic schools as a result of the cardinal's "consolidation."

Richard Herbig, Jarrettsville

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