I am responding to the BCR story regarding the closing of St. Louis School. To submit this letter to the editor I am required to give my name. However, the article by Goldie Rapp allowed for an anonymous opinion and quote to be published. Why the double standard? It is no surprise why public opinion of the media is at an all-time low when articles like this are published.
To blame Father Stirniman solely for the closure of St. Louis School is simply unfair and inaccurate. There is a parish council and financial committee that considers the needs of the parish both now and in the future. The Diocese of Peoria also had a significant role in this decision and did make a public statement to members of St. Louis School and parish regarding the decision to close the school. Did the BCR make any attempt to reach the Diocese Office regarding the matter? Instead the article framed Father Stirniman as the only person responsible for the decision to close the school. This is simply not the truth. Our parish has always generously supported St. Louis School, but the financial numbers and declining enrollment dictated this decision. My understanding is current families of St. Louis have been afforded the opportunity to accept payment of tuition for one year at a local Catholic school of their choice. Did anyone from the SOS Committee share that with the BCR? If so, why was that not printed?
Sadly, the people that commented on your story online fell for your story as being accurate. Even sadder is that two of them have been educators at Princeton High School. It disappoints me that even they fell for this pathetic attempt at journalism.
We are all sorry that our St. Louis School had to close. However, as Jeanie Gelsomino said in her letter, we will pray for the families who have been displaced by the closing, our parish and for those that have been judgmental of Father Stirniman.