Jan 15, 2014|
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
You said today for many of you because you found out today that today your child's school. -- either at the end of the year and they were speaking specifically about that Catholic schools I don't wanna run through the list Brian as -- he -- here at the news conference today helped by his excellency bishop Malone. And people were very integral and that by the way that is the proper addressing title -- -- this year his excellency those who don't know. It's not me being a wise yes that is actually what he's called excellence. I didn't know that it and now I feel bad. Because I didn't say that when I greeted him today well do you know I learned that because one of my dear friends in the business mr. Jim pastor a man and I respect admire and love greatly as do all of us -- WB and including -- -- -- -- we object after. Jim Patrick is an ardent Catholic one of the most faithful people of government in the media and he taught me that a long time ago his excellency bishop Malone. -- -- But in any event -- run through the list of schools here for those who may just be joining us and wondering where their kids educational future might be annunciation of the blessed virgin. Mary's school in alma fourteen holy helpers school in west Seneca. Our lady of -- school in Lancaster. Our lady of the sacred heart school Orchard Park saint -- school Orchard Park saint Francis of Assisi school in -- -- one Saint Joseph school in -- one saint Leo the great school in Amherst saint Mary of the lake school in Hamburg and saint Vincent -- school in spring -- All will close at the end of the year if you have children. Or your Bentley is personally affected by this I would love to hear from view and get your thoughts typically there is a firestorm of protest against. Any closing when it is announced but as his excellency the bishop pointed out. Public schools have also quotes that I referenced -- elementary school -- elementary which are recently was torn down and it's quite the metaphor of the elementary school building was torn down to make waves -- senior housing. Now -- you were at the news conference what stuck out what you. The first thing that stuck out to me was at the number of students in some of these schools just to run through a couple quick numbers. At saint Francis of Assisi school -- -- -- does a 152. Students nineteen faculty and staff. That is the largest school in terms of number of students. That closed today also saint Bernadette school 148 students think Vincent DePaul school. Also has a 148 students -- fourteen -- -- for fourteen holy helpers school excuse me and west Seneca 136 students now when. We talked with. A sister -- -- the superintendent of Catholic schools in Western New York. About three months ago when this came about that at the beginning of 2014. It would make announcements of closing schools. She said the number would be around 200. Is their goal 200 students in this school and it looks like they've pretty much caps. To that and it may have been a little surprising to some to see a school like saint Francis of assisting -- Wanda. That has close to that number. Still be closed while there are some other schools who have fewer students remain open and they said that part of the decision was. Facilities there's a lot that goes into parts of these decisions schools sometimes are. Within a couple minutes of one another so there's a whole lot that goes into making these decisions I'm sure as they've been going over numbers over the past few months. But you know Brian and we're talking with our prime minister askew was at the news conference at which was hurt and WB -- from 330 until about 355. We broke away because frankly the questions being asked you couldn't really put them up. On Mike and it was very difficult even for me to hear today I can't hear worth crap anyway. Help him outlets like crank my headphones and beat. While figuring appointment don't worry and be. It is. It's a non sequitur when all New York answers to questions you can't hear it leaves a lot to interpretation. More from you. While some of the stuff that now we might have missed then as some of the answers to those questions. As far as teachers affected a 195. Teachers and staff. How -- half to. Either retire they may be rehired as some of these other schools grow as they are anticipating. Some of the other Catholic schools to growing enrollment. Bishop long said that that's what they've seen in other. Diocese that when they close a number of schools. Typically a lot of the students will go to other Catholic schools instead of joining the public school system. So those teachers they're not exactly sure what's going to happen that's kind of the next step. Is how to deal with the teachers the staff and then later on the buildings but as of right now. Some will retire some will be rehired. And as far as the fates of all 195. Staff and teachers they're not a hundred censure enrollment for Catholics who was usually happens in January. That's why they decided to do this now I. Asked them because it seems a little late today announced that a school is going to be closer already halfway through school year. Only about eight or so months to I'd go over your. Decision of your kids' future for whether the eight more years one more years something like that. But that's why they made the decision now and they did ask parents there was some. Parents import. 200 Kirk excuse me 2200. Parents participated in the survey. And bishop Malone said that even though they had that parental involvement they did. That did influence their decision. But nothing that the parents said would change the facts and not determinative it it was not it. They could not change the financial. Most attacks serve to -- it's I mean let's let's face an even let's let's relate this to it to this business for a moment by any one audience here. They could not justify paying me myself. I mean that's their bottom line that -- And when you have a school. And you can't justify the expenses attendant with just keep holding open and keep them up pipes from freezing yet can't operate a business that. And for a lot of Catholic schools it's not just. Justifying it it's. They don't have money they're not in the black they are losing money on these schools because a lot of it depends on. The enrollment they have in the quotes of the press conference -- -- toward the end. It's not 1950 anymore. So -- why they have to in 1950 you know sixty years ago. Catholic education in Western New York was booming it's not that way anymore -- changes need to be made as tough as they may be. It's not 1950 anymore it's not 1915 and I was -- -- go home and have the -- about employer. You can't have not 1950 and all right so. How long -- the question and answer session ago. About half an hour about half an hour of questions give and take another notable thing in this happened this would have been something you did here over WB yen. Was no buffalo schools no schools in the city of buffalo will be closing. They're still hoping you -- no Catholics who know Catholic schools in the city of buffalo will be closing they're still hoping that some of these thousands over 2000. Children who have asks for transfers in the buffalo public school district will be able to. Turn and go to a Catholic school with a grant from the buys and -- who they're working with now they have not heard. From the buffalo public schools they have called the superintendent they have not heard back bishop Malone said. -- relief from the superintendent Pamela brown of buffalo public schools so. Where exactly that is going to go may still be up in the air if students are actually able to transfer to Catholic schools. But they're hopeful that. Alliance I don't know what it's like in the newsroom because for those who don't know I sit in my in my own little arm patted -- and the newsroom is on the other side of the glass and I don't have a chance to stalk. Either -- Harris or prime minister house here Tom buckets I don't know what's going on in -- Have we heard from any. Angry or disappointed parents because I have not as of yet heard from any parent affected by. Any of these new clothes so I have not either I was a little surprised that there were no angry parents they're a part of that may have been because there was a venue change in the middle of the day sometime earlier today. So that may have I don't like that may have. Caught some parents often are so we're -- where was the news conference supposed to have been and where was it eventually I believe it was supposed to be at the Notre Dame Academy it ended up being there headquarters downtown on main. Story you'll courier express building I believe so which is a gorgeous building it had during its own leaders I missed the courier express very much for many reasons. But anyway. -- it's not 1950 anymore that's the money quote from the bishop which somehow sounds obscene and so many ways. The parents are. I hope we hear from some parents today. Because Brian -- if you -- well and I that you're not a parent as of yet but you you certainly went to elementary school and I don't know whether yours is still open or not. But even at the age of 47 whatever they were down -- elementary school from which I graduated in 1975 shut up Brian. It was emotional it was sad I took videos. Because you know those are such important parts of one's formative years a lot of memories good and bad. Die when a building in which you -- Six or seven years. Goes away. I think part of the reason we're not hearing from many parents -- was because they found out. Exactly when we did for the most part schools were told beginning at around 10 AM today they made the trip to different schools -- law school's obviously. Had some idea that this would be possible. They didn't get that answer until. Around noon for some of these schools. Parents wouldn't -- got the answer until their kids came home from school with a letter or they herded over our air at WBM. Well up writers or is there anything that happened about which I did not askew but which you feel it's important to have the story in full well. Consolidation. Was brought up a lot they'd wanted to. Portrayed this as a consolidation. However it's not a merger no schools will be emerging now so schools that are open. Will remain open as it's there will be no teacher there may be teachers coming in but no schools are emerging they're not going to absorb. Students from as say saint Leo's here right next to what's his close. A saint Christopher down the road will not absorb saint Leo's. Saint Leo students will be able to go to saint Christopher's. But it will be not not a merger it would just be where they. Choose to go it will continue to be known as well it was previously known as and they're not gonna take their name forward -- -- right now the only thing changing in school is. There may be some more students from these schools are closed. One more question and I don't know if this came up. In terms of the real property of the Catholic diocese of buffalo any indication as to what will happen with those buildings. -- are about to be vacated or does -- the Doherty had his visit. Well all right Carl I can't prisoner's body I asked the bishop then very question and the fact is the buildings belong to the parachutes so if the parish has used for the building which some of them have said. We use this for religious said there are many uses we have for this building they may keep -- some of them may be sold in past cases. Buildings that have been sold have turned into. Senior housing as you mentioned though with -- -- elementary school -- viewers yes so what happens it's pretty much up to the parish because the parish. Owns the building. I have to ask you one more thing Brian and I know you are Western New York native. Nobody name as your house he could not the Western New York native I think I got to our local polish heritage in many -- polish Americans in our community. By the way I'm not yet an honorary -- but my children are poll which partially so just what that you -- have that little -- -- I don't know if I have the authority to grant granted that status OK well I'm still waiting to be honorary black guy -- to see you know -- tuna and our liberties you don't know us with your complexion you get me anyway some of my friends over -- they've asked that forward -- But what -- gonna ask -- is the surprise to me -- I get a break for traffic right I don't go anywhere Brian has articles -- time with you I mean -- it's more information with you Brian I have to break -- 24 but coming up or is -- -- -- for you. It is now. All right I'm gonna keep you then and a transcript -- -- little don't. Don't go anywhere because I have a surprise school in this list it might surprise you under is ready at 930 WB. He added his -- -- under his radio and I -- WB ENN that. And that hourly with you on the radio up what do you know my most of my computer is no longer working I guess I was right people actually have the plugin that. And not play games by setting the clock. But I guess some people play games it is up 534 news radio 930 WBE and the hourly on the radio. On a wet Wednesday and other big story today is beat buffalo. Diocese announces the closing of ten Catholic schools. Annunciation. Of the blessed virgin Mary school alma. Fourteen holy Oprah's school in west Seneca. Our lady of -- school in Lancaster our lady of the sacred heart school in Orchard Park saint -- school Orchard Park saint Francis of Assisi school -- -- wonder Saint Joseph school go -- saint Leo the great school Amherst saint -- of the -- school Hamburg NC Vincent -- school spring -- One of the schools and -- mr. -- I covered the news conference live for us we also. Carry it live on news radio 930 WB yet and you can check them out there online as well if you missed it. But I have to stay -- one of the surprises to me. Is anything involving our lady of Pompeii in Lancaster because. Father father Leo but -- Burnett. Over there he has built up frankly quite an amazing perish. And an amazing it. Following there have been other parishes which have closed including -- partisanship to watch it. From which a lot of people discovered father Burnett and they love him. I'm not even a Catholic and I -- father Burnett. And I thought that everything was hunky -- over there but apparently this is on the list of schools to be closed that you talk to him today. I did talk to him today he was one of the one of the priests who said that. Dare parish would remain with the -- heard excuse me either school would remain with the parish. Because they saw a religious Ed classes he says they have a lot going on over at our lady of Pompeii. That they can use the school four and also talk with the principal from our lady of Pompeii. And one of the thing tested. Mentioned here is a lot of these parishes that are connected with the school. Draw a lot from the school it might not necessarily be that the parish legion to the school but it in fact it's the other way around. So bishop Malone was asked about that if he's worried now of some of these parishes if it's kind of creating a cycle of these school closes and now. Either they're going to a different parish or maybe they're not associated with the parish that was with the school at all anymore. He said he's not too worried about that right now judging. Off from the reaction. Neither are the priests neither are the parishes they're looking to move forward it's more of these school administrators the principles. Who are concerned about where they go next from here and it's. They were pretty honest and saying they didn't know where they were going next from your via principle of our lady of Pompeii saying. She wasn't sure. Exactly what was in store for faculty they're just concerned about making this the best year possible -- when I asked about. It would have to be a distraction throughout the rest full year yell for these children knowing that they're not going to be here the next year. They just said were were focused on doing what we can to make this year possible they can't really control. Anything past that and. That's a healthy attitude by the way believe me having other radio this long if you can't approach it that way human moment in -- work anymore that's the only thing you can do you can't change which -- can't change. You mentioned how good of a pastor he was I'm curious to. See how much that helps draw for -- Catholic school. I'm not sure if that has the correlation you would think I think what you're in -- school once -- in a parish. You might really enjoy the pastor and that's a great benefit TU after deciding. But I'm not sure how much of a contributing factor that is to enrollments and others that they're looking at in the school. And it's one thing to build up -- parish community and regular church attendance and it's another thing to build up attendance. Where -- actually get people of childbearing. Age who have little rug rats that they would like to -- to a Catholic school I say that term affectionately. I have two little regrets of my -- and going back to its not 1950 anymore it's not. You know wanted to just say that -- and I know it's 95 it's not 1950 anymore and that makes me sad in many respects. It's many people still love going to church. But then this on the decline as well -- people attending church had a lot of these parishes. And it's. Dance -- if there's less people attending church. You're gonna have less interest from those people going just going to the Catholic schools. You know it also upsets me the way a lot of people dressed for church. I dress better to travel than many people show god it on a Sunday in church and I'm not saying that god judges based on fashion that. -- respect. Out of respect Sunday best story I'm doing my Tony Soprano thing I'm sorry I'm sorry summed it best to do what. I'll take Sunday. At least try genes. Depends on the brand depends on the -- depends on the tea sometimes jeans and a blazer is a very nice look. It is a lot of this week we also clinched doing the action show on the old CNN -- -- the Swedes had noticed you watch us the Swedish hockey team there at their whole lot of coaching staff is in uniform. That's the uniform Ryan so -- when we're not on the year then I will tell you some stories about some Swedish woman known in my life. And that's exactly which you thinking more interest in the Swedish men fashion. I'm gonna leave that one alone Brian because I still love you but he. All right Brad as rusty thank you very much for the insight and I hope we get a chance to hear from bother Burnett because here's a guy that right -- may leave I don't wanna run -- the overtime -- -- make me pay my own pocket. -- yet you don't mind body year out here are -- as a rescue one of the great tires that we've made recently -- news radio 930 WB yet so. -- you -- parents. With a child in a Catholic school. That is my question. One of the Catholic schools that that will be closing. Annunciation of the blessed virgin Mary school in -- fourteen holy helpers is there anybody who grew up in Western New York. During the blizzards and snow closing whenever they would say fourteen holy helpers you'd say. -- fifteenth -- I would always say that. Our lady of -- school in Lancaster our lady of the sacred heart school in Orchard Park secretive that school in Orchard Park saint Francis of assistant school in -- Wanda. Saint Joseph school in go Wanda says it will be -- great school in Amherst saint -- of the lake school in Hamburg saint Vincent -- school in the spring -- all of those schools are going to close at the end. Of this school year. Now they hallway. Am a big fan of messed around with words they call it a re revitalization plan. And I know what they're getting it but in the corporate world this would be called layoffs and cutbacks. -- If we were to lay -- twenty people from America today we wouldn't call it revitalization. We call it survival we call it. Well we call layoffs and cutbacks I guess it's -- up. Happens it's happening your businesses -- in this business it's happened in doctors' offices and everywhere else. Your thoughts on this especially if you of people. Directly connected to you who are going to be affected by this if you are a staff member. I realize you might be hamster. And in terms of what you can say. Some of you may think also what we get a few more -- a paycheck anyway what's a few more or what's a few less as the case may be I mean this is got to hit you. Like a ton of bricks yet knew something was common. Unfortunately. The spin the wheels stopped and and ended up on your school which means it ended up on your career. And we're gonna have a whole lot more unemployed people in western new York and and it's a shame. And I know that the many of these educators. They basically get subsistence wages. And yet they managed to show up every -- for work. They managed to keep the children interest -- And provide a quality education. For kids and if I may presume to offer words of advice. To those of you who are not gonna have a job. After this school year. Keep your head in the game. For as long as you can. This is one of these things -- have to realize what is within your control. What is without your control. And any radio station at which it ever work that's been going through a sale -- don't know what's gonna happen. All you can do is offer your best performance every single day and have faith. Then in the end. This is just part of your plans were part of your journey if you prefer Joseph. Do you mind if I don't know you're gonna have to work out the clock because I don't wanna keep. -- joining us -- father Leo Burnett from our lady of Pompeii perished and the our lady of -- school. Is are going to close in Lancaster at the end of the year father it's always a great pleasure to speak with you and I'm glad you're able to call thank you so much power. I am doing well Tom how are you doing tonight. I absolutely could not be better and you know what's her faith and the water off of the ducks back that's all I can tell you. And my heroes or elsewhere in -- and Tony Soprano but anyway. Enough about me what do you think about -- Tell me about the of the situation now with the school how much of a shock and how is this hitting you because personally as you know I happen to think -- great men. Well I I think you've got great judgment they'll. Thank you well you know it certainly the -- today. No pastor no principle. Bishop Malone. Anybody nobody -- -- school. So that the typical pay no question. But I think he will be well prepared. Forward are people here have been well prepared that it was. A real possibility. It and so as far as preparation goes we we we did about a week but the thing is that what really happened. And habit I think in my opinion it is something that needs to take place restructuring. But but here here's my question for your father Leo Burnett from our lady of -- You sir have proven to be. You know that old -- written by Philip lists let the lower lights be burning. I don't know that one but I like it. Well let the lower lights be burning some struggling -- you may rescues and struggling -- you may save a believer of the words but. You have been a beacon of hope to a lot of Catholics who been displaced. From their previous parishes such as saint Bart service. I was surprised to see anything with our lady of -- On the closing list. Is is -- perished. You don't have enough of the younger child bearing -- people to continue that school. Actually we we have enough of the the age bracket for for whatever reason many are just not shoes and Catholic school. And we have 69 kids that are school. So it's a very small school and unfortunately gets to a point where becomes cost prohibitive. At that number. But yet we have 300 plus and religious education. -- -- You know there is that it does but the question whether or not but children. Yes that all of our children registered in the parish elements of religious that would be in Catholic school. And instability in addition. This is good expense. And but unfortunately. Many here are not choosing Catholics education right now. Well you know I I did good and bad experiences. With with Catholic education or some things about it that I found it refreshing change. There were other things that to me and in all honesty you know the kind of guy -- They were kind of a let down in terms of some of the history text. How. Are we heading that was a personal opinion are we heading toward an era. -- this period basically is gonna have. One or two or three. Elementary schools that are Catholic elementary schools. And and just a handful I mean a small handful of Catholic high schools and middle schools. I would I would hope not. I think. This restructuring. Is to. Release strain in the schools to bring the -- schools that were smaller. Together. And that's that that were merging of formal way but bad we're gonna have. Schools which are a little bit. Larger in size and and and being larger in size the stronger. And you know make the most of the resources that we -- out. Human resources financial resources. So I think that the effort. The real mission of of the churches is educations so we're gonna continue to have. Catholic schools and Catholic education that I do not believe in any way shape or form there's. Any plan that you know we're gonna get down 12345. Schools. And we're hoping to -- -- they have -- strengthening the numbers strengthening the resource is bringing them together we're going to be able to offer more and offering more. Thereby attract even more students -- in rural schools that way. Father what is your relationship as the big man at our lady of Pompeii and a man who -- attracted an amazing following of people who love you. What is your relationship. With the school and have you any idea what will happen with that physical building. Well -- as a close relationship with the school. The -- you had a oversee everything can be part of everything I can't be in there every single day as a teacher would be your of the principle. But. Weekly we have -- yes but I see the children -- try to get into the classrooms to see the kids. Eight greatly reduce -- To be retreat for the readers not that long ago. So up Mike and -- -- it's really more desperate -- component in -- school. Also part of partly a government component. As far as our building -- Of the the parish -- pretty active and vibrant that really is. And are building for a paternity issue of the building are going to be well used. By a by the parish of the hole. If anything we have the problem right now of not enough space at us. So. The building is not going to be a ordered a building or building up for sale it's going to be a building that's well used. -- office wise will be well used. And we have over fifty different ministries going down in the parish so law. Obviously will be being useful for those ministries. And and -- education in religious education again 300 children religious. We we believe the classroom space these. Other Burnett from our lady of -- I -- quick break I need to get to and -- I'm gonna have one more question I wanna ask -- so don't go anywhere I won't keep that long -- -- busy -- other Burnett to our lady of Pompeii. Church but my final question is in light of the closing of your school our -- upon today. School in Lancaster. Have you heard from any parents expressing dismay shock anger sadness what is the consensus. Actually -- The had no reaction at the moment no one has called the rectory. No 19 -- called the school yet either. Again we've we've been meeting with her parents when we've had the home school meetings. Right from September when we first have been meeting with the of the bishop and school officials broadcasters then again for all the principles we've been share all that information. So our parents have been pretty well informed views and they have -- its sister Carol. The -- was the superintendent of Catholic schools come out and she she met with -- parents back in September the home -- meeting. Answer their questions. So even we've been keeping people informed answering questions. And again given the size I think many of our people kind of all the writing on the wall that we would probably be on that list of schools that would close. So what I think our people are pretty well prepared. Probably that happy you know nobody wants to hear that news. But I think accepting because they they they. Where were part of that decision part of that. Maybe that decision so much but part of the conversations and informed all along the way. Now father Burnett you know the high regard in which -- hold you go I understand and I know that you do hang out with certain people identify themselves as neo luddites I'm gonna let that pass. And that's an inside joke look up -- if you don't know we're -- people who refused to embrace technology that would be the way to -- -- it's always a pleasure and an honor you are great man and -- -- talking to you thank you -- -- -- and here father Leo -- from our -- of -- and he is a close spiritual friend to many Catholics and non Catholics in western -- more coming up.