Updated: January 30, 2014 10:19PM
Mount Assisi Academy in Lemont will close at the end of the current school year in June, citing declining enrollment as a major factor.
The all-girls Catholic high school, 13860 Main St., has an ongoing budget deficit and mounting debt that has made keeping it open an impossibility, according to an email Wednesday from Sister Therese Ann Quigney to students and parents, calling it a “heart wrenching decision.”
Quigney is the provincial superior of the School Sisters of St. Francis of Christ the King, the order of nuns that owns and operates the school, which opened in 1955.
Enrollment and financial contributions to the school have been declining for seven years, according to the school’s website. It says the Archdiocese of Chicago was not involved in the decision to close the school and that Cardinal Francis George was notified Jan. 23 of the order’s decision.
“The economic realities facing everyone, including the Church, have forced us to consider what is possible given the resources we have at our disposal,” Quigney says in the email. “Our religious community has substantially subsidized the Academy for years and is unable to continue this level of giving.
“As enrollment has fallen, the reality that the smaller the pool of students, the more expensive the education per person becomes has fueled both our efforts to increase enrollment and our need to look carefully at the reality of our school situation. We have worked hard to increase enrollment and to seek other sources of revenue.”
Quigney says that the order deeply regrets the “heartache that this causes and promises to support our current students and families in any way that is possible as they seek other educational settings and work through this closing and the transition that it calls for in their lives.”
The school plans a Feb. 5 meeting at the school for the families and students of the Class of 2015 to discuss possibilities for them, according to Quigney.