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Parents, teachers plan for future–as hope is lost for saving Astoria school

Preciousblood

April 27, 2015 By Michael Florio

As the school year nears an end, the fight to save an Astoria Catholic school is all but over.

Parents and teachers are now dealing with the fallout that the Most Precious Blood School, located at 32-52 37th Street, will be closing. Many of the parents have enrolled their children elsewhere—with about half going to other Queens-based Catholic schools such as St Joseph’s, St Francis and Immaculate Conception.

However, Lissette Paz, a member of the school’s PTA, said that the teachers are struggling to find new jobs. She claimed that the Brooklyn diocese, which is in charge of the Catholic schools in Queens and Brooklyn, has not assisted the teachers in finding jobs elsewhere.

“None of the teachers have new jobs,” Paz said. “They refuse to help them find new positions within the diocese.”

A call to confirm this was placed to school officials, who said Paz spoke on their behalf.

The diocese did not respond to calls.

After operating for 58 years, the Brooklyn diocese made the decision to close Most Precious Blood School after discovering that it needed funds to repair the building and the church located next door. The cost was estimated to be $5.5 million–$2.5 million for the school and $3 million for the church.

preciousbloodprotestThe diocese made the decision to close the school and repair the church.

Parents, who felt like the school was being sacrificed to save the church, fought to save the school, first starting a petition that received about 2,000 signatures.

They then held a small protest in front of the Brooklyn diocese building—located at 310 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn for three days in March, chanting that the school should be saved.

The diocese has not found a tenant to move into the school building, once Precious Blood closes, Paz said.

She said that the parents’ association submitted a request with the diocese to rent the building for a year to keep the school open, but it went unanswered.

Coleen Ceriello, who has been handling the property for the diocese, did not respond for comment.

The parents, teachers and students—aware that all their options have been exhausted—put together a video to pay tribute to the school.

The song is sung by 2010 American Idol finalist Michael Lynche who has a child attending the school.

Paz said that the video was made as a memento for the children to help them remember their time at the school.

“The kids had a blast making the video and it turned out to be a nice keepsake,” she said.

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6 Comments

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PortlandGirl

I think that is a lot of real estate just sitting there wasted. I moved here about 2 months ago not too far from MPB and I think that space could be utilized better than to put an outdated church.

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Joe C

Oddly enough the picture of the demonstrators shows Bishop Ford HS across the street. My 3 boys graduated from BF & we were there in April 2014 demonstrating against the closing of BF. Now BF is being rented to a charter middle school, 7 pre-k classes run by NY City and the DeSales Media Group. The temptation of renting the schools to outside interests will further lead to school closings by Cardinal Dolan & Bishop DiMarzio. The Bklyn-Queens diocese has had 3 high school & 4 elementary schools close within the last 4 years. Dolan & DiMarzio will gradually let the schools close since to close them all at once would cause too much of a furor. The most disgusting thing about Dolan & DiMarzio is that they never reconsider the closing of a school and will NEVER meet personally with the parents. Think about that, they will gladly meet with potential big time donors but will never meet with parents who are trying to raise their kids in the faith & sacrificing to send their kids to Catholic schools. Oh yeah, they will send you numerous mailings asking you to contribute to their annual appeals. Two big phonies that have no respect for the students, parents & teachers. I can’t stand the sight of them.

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Noname

OUR poor , poor neighborhood.. Ah well, all good things must come to an end. We are left with pseudo intellectuals who spout ideas and have never constructed a philosophical argument. Desperate.First, brothers, darling, never taught at Most Precious Blood. So be truthful..get the facts especially when it is very maligning comments…At MPB there was an order of religious sisters, lay teachers….Hmm maybe you are confused..St Bart’s had Brothers…Oh , and Granola Hipster…you are a piece of work. Typical of granola chompers very humble LOL..Scary tht you have so much faith in your undisciplined and disfunctional, disordered method of thinking.. I think it, therefore it is right…2) Respect the community you are slumming in…3)know how many of those attenedees of those religious institutions have gone on to serve 7/12 Supreme Court Jutices; last 2 presidents of NYU..US Presidents Clinton, Obama; both Gov Cumo, Gov Carey , Guiliani ,Vallone Bob shepherd, the founders of the Foundling Hospitals Calvary Hospital, Aids Hospice were ALL FOUNDED BY GRADUATES OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS…Yo..yo…you do not what you got till it is gone. ANd the way we are going, moral fiber and direction have fun granola chomper you aint a hipster…

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Granola_Hipster

Ewwwww a religious institution? No community needs that. Bring it down and build a whole food or trader joes or artisanal organic pickle shoppe. We need to cater to the true residents of Astoria.

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Randy Super

Ah let it close, bad memories for me here. I went there many moons ago and got caught jerking in the boys room by one of the brothers and then took a beating in a back room for something that was completely natural. I agree put a Whole Foods or something clean and nice to get rid of the atrocities that happened to me and others here.

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Clueless_Transplant

This would be a good spot for building luxury condos and or a Savers Barn or a Whole Foods.

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