Posts Tagged ‘Closing’

I’m no fan of Catholicism .. haven’t been since I graduated from 12 years of Catholic school.

I have my reasons .. which I won’t go into now.. but let’s just say that my thoughts and opinions were my own. I could argue about theology .. I could argue about idolatry .. I could argue dogma .. but I left the one’s faith alone. If you want to believe it.. you go right ahead Sunshine.

But something happened a few weeks ago that gave me a soapbox and dammit if I’m not going to use it. You let me know what you think. That’s what the comments are for.

We have a Catholic school down the street from me. It’s been there for almost a hundred years. In this little town that I live in, this Catholic school was like a beacon to the community. Something that skewed the reality of “.. this town ain’t what it used to be” for the parishioners.

Yes.. it hasn’t changed for the better but as long as the school was there then BY! GOD! we will still have SOME hope that the kids going there will be property educated and go on to be pillars of society.

That’s what I think they thought anyway.

A few years ago, the church got a new head honcho that no one liked. And not for good reason. I don’t think he realized just what this church meant to this community. Or maybe he did. Maybe he was just a hit man in a cassock.

He started cutting out things here and there.. wouldn’t allow use of the church’s auditorium for elderly bingo and stuff like that. People grumbled.. people vented.. but they still attended mass and forked over money in the collection plate.

That is.. until they made an announcement around December that the school was going to close at the end of this school year.

Now.. the closing of a Catholic school is not such an unusual thing. It’s been happening locally for about the last ten or so years. Enrollment has gone down.. tuition has gone up.. people can’t afford it and with the advent of Charter Schools.. there was an option for a better education then the local public school and it didn’t cost anything.

So why was THIS school closing different?

Because the parents formed a committee to save the school. They protested in front of the BIG Archdiocese church in the city and petitioned the Cardinal. They blasted the head honcho that they despised.

So the church bent a little. They would keep the school open until then end of the NEXT school year but then a nasty little thing happened.

Someone went to the press and the story wasn’t good.

The ArchdioceseĀ got pissed off.

While the parents raised money to off set tuition and did everything they could possibly do to raise money to keep the school open, the powers that be were like, “.. ok. We’ll keep the school open BUT you have to come up with 200 enrollments and you only have 3 weeks to do it. Oh.. and to make sure you good Catholic parishioners don’t try to pull a fast one we’re going to increase the 50.00 enrollment fee to 250.00 as.. yknow.. GOOD FAITH”

If you have more then one kid in school.. or even if you ONLY had one kid in school.. that was a big financial impact. And it didn’t matter if your kid have been going there for years. You still had to come up with 250.00 per kid to enroll.

And so the fundraising pulled out all stops. It literally came down to people standing at the major intersection wearing t-shirts and holding sand pails collecting change.

They were going to hold an enrollment shindig at the school to promote new enrollments but the PTB :: Powers That Be :: wouldn’t allow it.

Every time the parents would ask for a number of enrollees to determine how many more kids were needed, the answer never came. The PTB wouldn’t release that information to anyone.. not the parents.. not the press.

It was kind of like, “.. here’s your noose, now go hang yourself with it.”

Very important members of the community started donating HUGE sums of money for The Cause. Upwards of 20,000.

Didn’t matter.

When all was said and done… with the parents having scrapped a number together from going door to door and asking if people had enrolled there kids.. the PTB came down and said Nope.. you didn’t make it. School’s closing in June.

People walked around like they got socked in the belly.

In my oh-so-humble-used-to-be-Catholic opinion, there were things that could have been done to save the school if the jackasses didn’t get their hinds in an uproar. They just didn’t want to.. and that’s the bottom line. They got pushed into a corner by people who’s faith dictates that they will be treated fairly and they dropped the hammer on them.

Instead of working with… they pounced.

Because all along, they knew they were closing the school but with the outpouring of the community, they had to save face so they threw them a bone. Without meat on it.

And that’s wrong. They owe something to this community who came to their aid every time they were asked. New roof.. new this.. new that.. more money.. more money.. more money.

I heard recently that they were going to convert the school into dorms to house Haitian refugees.

They have money for that, right?

They are willing to go all over the world and educate people for free.. but yet they won’t do anything in their own back yard.

And so with the closing of the school, parents are enrolling their kids in other Catholic schools that are out of the area.. and that’s pissing off the head honchos of the neighboring schools off. Church attendance is down.. meaning collection plate money is down.. meaning the church will probably get the ax soon also. And it serves them right. They have played on the faith of their parishioners.. just like the Mafia plays on the fears of people. Only the Mafia doesn’t hide behind the cross to do it.

Oh.

And by the way…

How many school do you think could have been saved if the church hadn’t paid out the millions it did to hush up the molestation victims?

In 25 days a small community hospital that has been operated by a major health system for the past 10 years or so will close.

Supposedly it was a swift business decision deemed necessary to save the health system, which reportedly is 16 million over the budged loss for last fiscal year.

Or was it? I have my doubts. My gut tells me differently :: and as it’s ever expanding so is my ever expanding insight!! Ha! :: No. Seroiusly. The thing about the suits that sit on the top floors making these decisions is that they really, honestly and truly think that the people who work on the floors under them are stupid.

I’m not going to get into all the specifics because that’s not really what this post is about.. but for someone who spent many an hour putting 5000 piece puzzle pieces together I’m going to tell you that closing this hospital was in the works for a long time.

So 850 people are out of jobs come the end of the month. Alot of people. Alot of people that I know personally. Because that’s the kind of place this hospital was.

It was a “community” hospital in the truest sense of the word. Everyone in the neighborhood was either born there or worked there or wound up doing both. Generations of families were born there and died there.

Nothing was cold.. nothing sterile :: figuratively speaking you guys! Sheesh! :: Upper managment.. the CEO’s the CFO’s took the time to know you.. not just your name and / or position. Get to know YOU. We had a baseball team that was employee funded :: with help from managment :: .. we had a golf team that was employee funded :: with help from management ::. Everyone truly worked hard to make this hospital one where you and your family were cared from from the minute you walked in until the minute you left.

People went above and beyond because they WANTED to.. not because it was expected. There was constantly something being done for someone in the community.. bake sale.. 50/50 raffle.. it was endless.

But then the powers that be decided that there should be one corporate hub and my department was moved into the corporate office. The people were different.. their work ethics were different :: dare I say “non-existant” :: and as much as they wanted to convey the TEAM mentality, people from my hospital were segregated.. left out..

Our hospitals’ work :: which should have been even distributed and worked on by the entire staff :: collected dust because no one wanted to bother learning our system.

Consequently, the hospital started to lose the revenue much needed by the health system and therein laid the path to closing it’s doors.

The corporate office IS doing something.. they’re turning it into an outpatient care facility but they still deemed it necessary to give everyone a pink slip and offered to rehire anyone if they needed.

The neighborhood and local council tried saving it but to no avail. I’m not sure how much of this was known by people of some power before it actually happened since an internet search turned up an organization formed to save the hospital roughly a year before it acutally happened.

Even worse is that fact that about 6 years ago, the health system reached out to the community to help them fight a land development deal by WalMart for the property across the street from the hospital. The community acted and the deal fell through. This is how they repay them.

But all that really doesn’t matter because in 25 days, it’s doors will close.

I have really spent any quality time in there for about 2 years but I still keep in touch with the friends I made there :: thank God for Facebook! :: but let me tell you.. she was a grand old dame.

And it’s sad. It’s more then said.