Nineteen students, displaced from their homes along the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, are enrolled in Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore and Dr. Ronald J. Valenti, Director of Catholic Education Ministries and Superintendent of Schools, are urging all Catholic schools of the Archdiocese to accept students.
“Cardinal Keeler is asking the leadership of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore to make a very special outreach to those students who have experienced the ravages of Hurricane Katrina,” Dr. Valenti wrote in a letter to school principals. “The Cardinal is requesting that elementary or secondary school students who come to our archdiocese be accepted into our Catholic schools without any expectation of payment.”
Although the emergency funds of the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal are very limited, a special effort will be made to assist with some of the basic needs, such as books or uniforms, for those children from the Gulf Coast who attend an archdiocesan school.
Catholic schools nationwide are accepting displaced students, including those nearest to the disaster. The Diocese of Shreveport enrolled more than 200 students in the days after Katrina. Private Catholic schools run by religious communities are assisting other schools of their order.
Sister Glenn Anne McPhee, the U.S. Bishops’ Secretary for Education, praised the work and pledged that Catholic schools across the country would do whatever was needed to bring stability and hope to students affected by Katrina.
Currently, those schools of the Archdiocese of Baltimore with students from the Gulf Coast include: St. John in Westminster; Sacred Heart in Glyndon; the John Carroll School in Bel Air; and Msgr. Slade Regional School in Anne Arundel County; St. Mary’s, Govans; St. Mary’s, Annapolis; Resurrection-St. Paul, Ellicott City.