It's a looming threat for catholic schools throughout the area...will the diocese shut them down? Facing declining enrollment and higher tuition costs...a task force within the diocese said some may have to close or consolidate. One parish is hoping the power of prayer will save their school.
It was pew after pew filled with parishioners inside
11-year-old Katie Huurman is in the sixth grade. "It would just be really hard for me because I might not see my friends ever again," said Katie.
"This is her second Catholic school move and hopefully it's her last."
Her mom Cherry is hoping the crowd and their faith will keep the school open...threatened by the financial crunch within the Catholic Church and declining enrollment…tonight's prayers were a beacon of hope for struggling Catholic schools.
"It's wonderful, it's fabulous to see and hopefully it will keep the school here and we won't close…" said Cherry.
"I definitely have a big place in my heart for all that they have given me in the past several years," said Alex DeLucenay.
For others...it's the past that drew them to tonight's prayer service. Alex DeLucenay graduated from Holy Cross in 1999.
"I came from my college at St. John Fisher to be able to make it up here because it's something very deep in my heart because I spent 11 of the most formative years of my life being taught in these walls here."
Concern began to grow among parishioners after a task force within the Catholic Diocese said schools may have to close or consolidate in order to survive. That task force found enrollment is down 50 percent in the last decade, while tuition costs have gone up. Bishop Matthew Clark is expected to make a decision by the end of the month based on recommendations by that task force.