Monday, January 29, 2007

"Yo-hio State" or "Local Boy Makes Good"

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"Ohio State football fans still probably want to press charges against the Buckeyes for not bothering to show up for the BCS Championship Game.
Meanwhile, the university may be disciplining two students who did everything they could to show up - including sneaking into the game without tickets.
Will Manzeo of Cleveland and Anthony Florig of Youngstown, both 21, sneaked into the national championship game in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 8 - a 41-14 trouncing by the Florida Gators. "

More at the link below:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Crusaders' Big Day

Over the last several decades, the City of Youngstown has seen a number of its Catholic grade schools close. Even within the last few years, St. Edward, St. Anthony, Immaculate Conception, and St. Brendan have all ceased operations. Once a point of civic and religious pride, these parish school buildings are now just another reminder of the decline of the city's economy and population.

The one exception, however, is St. Christine, on the city's west side. Helped along by a passionate and generous group of parishioners and parents (as well as a key location near the city's borders with Boardman and Canfield), St. Christine School is alive and well. This Saturday, in fact, the school held the inaugural game in its new gym, which was just recently completed. The Crusaders' 8th grade boys' team, the first squad to tip off in the new venue, celebrated with a win over Warren's Notre Dame.

Sure, it's just junior high basketball. But the game (and more importantly, the gym) is a symbol of the vitality of the parish and the commitment of the community to keep the city's last Catholic school open and attractive to local families.

It's somewhat embarassing for the Diocese to have allowed so many schools within its home city to close in recent years. It is true that many of the issues that led to these closings are complex and not easily solved- some of the closings most likely could not have been avoided or prevented. However, the Diocese has responded with no clear strategy or plan to slow or stop the problem. Schools could have been combined, facilities could have been reassigned, or partnerships could have been formed between city schools and their sister schools in nearby suburbs. Instead, nothing was done, and the Diocese of Youngstown is left with only one Catholic grade school within the city limits.

St. Christine is not without its problems. However, it's a great example of what could have been- and what needs to continue to be done to keep Catholic education alive in the city.