March 4, 2015 By Michael Florio
Twelve vocal protestors carrying signs that read “save our school” marched outside the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese Tuesday in their quest to stop an Astoria Catholic school from closing at the end of the school year.
The protesters, who want Most Precious Blood School to remain open, were at the diocese to demand a meeting with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio who announced in January that he was shutting the school down.
The protestors comprised mainly of parents with children at the school. They had signs that read: “How can we reverse your decision?” and “Our school has no debt.”
The protesters chanted: “Save M.P.B. (Most Precious Blood).”
The parents did not receive an official response from the diocese yesterday and said that they would continue to protest until they got a meeting with DiMarzio.
Lissette Paz, a member of the PTA, said that a core group of parents will be out protesting every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday–until they receive a meeting.
“If after our meeting, he [the Bishop] still says there is no hope, we would have to stop,” Paz said. “If the school is going to close we would have to accept that.”
A spokeswoman for the diocese would not comment on the protest.
The news that Most Precious Blood School was closing was broken to parents in January, when Church Pastor Rev. William Krlis sent out a letter notifying parents.
The letter said that the school was in need of $2.55 million in repairs– while the church also needed a $3.5 million upgrade. The letter stated that the diocese didn’t have the funds to repair both—and that it had decided to close the school.
Since the announcement, many parents have claimed that the diocese is sacrificing the school in order to save the church. A core group of parents have been fighting to keep the school open since.
Paz said that the parents had set up a meeting with DiMarzio earlier this year.
However, it was canceled and the parents were told that a meeting would only provide them with a false hope that the school could be saved.