In Support of Our Schools
In Support of Our Schools
Dear Family of Faith,
Since the end of May, we have opened our church and have shown to be a safe and holy environment. Throughout the summer, our school administration and staff have developed safe reopening protocols, purchased thousands of dollars of safety equipment, added a school nurse position, rearranged classrooms, prepared a virtual learning option, and invested countless hours into developing curriculum for these challenging times. These efforts, along with our communications with families, has led to more than 85% of families desiring in-person education.
The release of Emergency Order #9 on Friday to close all Dane County schools was devastating to our school, our staff, our families, and most importantly, our students. When many other businesses remain open, we are ordered to close. We find our school essential to our community. Our school is essential to our students. Our school is essential to our instruction of the faith.
Over the weekend, school families and countless parishioners voiced their shock, sadness and despair over the new order. Following the Masses this weekend, the overwhelming reaction, whether through your round of applause, comments, emails, phone calls, and various signs of support, has been heard. Furthermore, families have reached out asking how they can help through prayers, letter writing, public marches, and financial assistance, along with volunteering to join a legal suit.
At this time, legal action, led by affected families and organized by St. Ambrose Academy, is being drafted to contest Public Health Madison & Dane County Emergency Order #9. One of many interested St. Maria Goretti school families has joined as a plaintiff in the case. In support of our school families and in support of the SMG school family that is serving as a plaintiff, St. Maria Goretti Congregation, after consultation with Bishop Hying and the Diocese, is signing on as a litigant. We believe it is important to support the rights of our families to send their children to a religious school and that every child is a unique creation of God, worthy of the opportunity to develop to his/her fullest potential in a safe and caring environment.
Over the next couple of days, you will hear other Dane County Catholic schools, representing plaintiff families, join the lawsuit to form a diverse coalition.
We ask for your support for our school families—for our students. Through the intercession of St. Maria Goretti, patron saint of the youth, may the Lord strengthen us to endure and overcome these tumultuous times.
Fr. Scott Emerson, JCL
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