The Catholic Archdiocese is laying off 10 percent of its employees and planning to close or consolidate five schools.
Cardinal Francis George says the archdiocese has been running a deep deficit over the past four years and these new steps will correct the problem.
At the pastoral center, 75 positions have been terminated. 55 of them were full-time.
The five schools affected are:
- St Helena of the Cross on the south side
- St Paul-Our Lady of Vilna in the Pilsen neighborhood
- St Bernadine in Forest Park
- St Kiernan in Chicago Heights
- St Gregory the Great High School on the north side
The news was revealed to Chicago Catholics in a letter from Francis Cardinal George who is now in Rome to help select a new pope. On the archdiocese website, he writes, “These actions are being taken now because the financial situation imposes them. We are also taking them, however, so that the archdiocese will have the resources she needs for her mission. School closings are disruptive to the communities affected, and we are working to assist school families during this transition period, particularly by offering scholarships for their children to attend nearby Catholic schools.”
In his letter, the cardinal refers to the affected employees as faith-filled men and women who’ve worked tirelessly for the good of the church and asks Chicago Catholics to keep them in their prayers.