Parents Devastated by Catholic School Closures

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 12:07 AM EDT

By WKBW News

...
January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 12:07 AM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) "It hit hard, very hard," said Katharine Lent of Orchard Park.

Lent is a mother of a third grader at Saint Bernadette Catholic School and is one of many parents devastated by the news that 10 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo are being forced to close their doors next school year. She says many other parents feel just like her.

"I know that the kids are gonna be really upset. They have come together and you know they're basically like second siblings to each other," she said.

The decision was prompted by two main factors, costs are too high and student enrollment is too low. Parents are now left to decide where their children will attend school come fall.

"This is like moving. You are changing a new school and it's gonna be a whole new set of classmates and friends and teachers and parents," said Lent.

Out of the ten schools that will close, none are in the city of Buffalo.

The southtowns were hit the hardest with seven out of the ten closing in their region.

The ten selected to close were based on years of research and numbers.

"We're trying to do something responsbly to make Catholic education stay strong even if a particular school has to close. I would hope that a Catholic's faith is deep and strong enough that something like this would not cause them to abandon their faith, said Bishop Richard Malone of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

1,154 students and 195 faculty and staff are affected based of the following ten closures:

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Elma
Fourteen Holy Helpers School, West Seneca
Our Lady of Pompeii School, Lancaster
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Orchard Park
St. Bernadette School, Orchard Park
St. Francis of Assisi School, Tonawanda
St. Joseph School, Gowanda
St. Leo the Great School, Amherst
St. Mary of the Lake School, Hamburg
St. Vincent de Paul School, Spring Brook