Diocese must work with its parishes

I want to thank Bishop Mark Bartchak for addressing the important task of keeping Catholic schools open.

Special congratulations to the three schools that won the ability to stay open and lease their facilities. It is only fair that since the bishop agreed that these facilities belong to the parish, the parish should benefit from them.

Parishioners have built and paid for these facilities with their sweat, blood and sacrifice, and they should benefit from the rent.

Being a business person, I feel that a large facility such as these should rent for several thousand dollars per month. These monies, of course, should go back to the families who paid for the schools and the parish.

It is only right that students of these parishes should have free or greatly reduced tuition.

The finance councils of these parishes would be irresponsible if they do not get a fair lease rate for such nice buildings and such abundant square footage.

We also have to address the parishes that are instructed to close their schools. Since the diocese recognizes the properties belong to the parish, then they should be allowed to continue to use these facilities in any manner they please.

If the diocese is saying these no longer belong to the parishes or they cannot be used as the parish planned, then the diocese should purchase these facilities from the parishes. To ask generations of families to build and maintain anything and then take it from them would just be stealing.

Everyone wants what is just and fair and to continue Catholic education, but we cannot take the assets from the parishes, either by lease or closing, and not compensate the people who have sacrificed and paid for them.

George Foster

Hollidaysburg