Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Diocese rolls out plans for new Sacred Heart Cathedral School buildings

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Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

In the last few months, the Diocese of Gallup has been considering various possibilities regarding the future proceedings and success of Sacred Heart School in Gallup, NM. After much prayer and consultation—the Diocese presents the following plans for Sacred Heart School.

The future plans for Sacred Heart School primarily include building a brand-new school on the parish grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral and selling the current campus and buildings. This means that Sacred Heart Cathedral School would become once again a parochial school, as it was in its first location downtown! This will be made possible by selling the current campus to Aequitas Education, a 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting classical education in the region, for an amount large enough to cover the entire cost of building a new school. From the financial ends of things, this will solidify Sacred Heart Cathedral School for generations to come, because, at its current location, the school simply does not have the capital to continue the maintenance and necessary renovation of the existing buildings. Aequitas Education has made this offer as it intends to remodel the existing school campus for the use of Hozho Academy, a classical public charter school authorized by the State of New Mexico.

Among the many benefits of this plan is first and foremost the fact that Sacred Heart Cathedral School students will be able to attend daily Mass at the Cathedral rather than having Mass only once a week as it currently stands. Additionally, the school will be an integral part of the Cathedral Parish life, especially as it will benefit from the pastoral care and leadership of the parish priests. Overall, the Catholic identity of Sacred Heart Cathedral School will be affirmed and strengthened.

Aequitas Education has also offered to provide curriculum development and support for Sacred Heart school to transition it to a classical education model. Catholic schools have traditionally used classical education as a means to form the faithful in living fully for Jesus Christ “with all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their mind” (cf. Mt. 22:37).

The plan is to begin building the new school this coming summer of 2020. The building of the new school will finish in time for the 2021-2022 school year. In the interim, the Sacred Heart Cathedral Family Center will serve as the temporary school building for the 2020-2021 school year. The Center has plenty of room for the students, a library, and a fully functional kitchen to prepare meals for the students. The family center will serve as a worthy place for Sacred Heart Cathedral School until the new education building is completed.

We acknowledge the confusion caused by a fact-finding visit by representatives from Aequitas Education and Hozho Academy a few weeks ago. It would have been best to do this outside of regular school events, and we apologize for any confusion.

As we prepare for this transition, we ask for your prayers and support. Change can be difficult and challenges will be sure to arise, but we are confident that these plans will not only help the future of Sacred Heart Cathedral School, but also bring new life and fervor to the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish community.

At the conclusion of Saint Matthew’s Gospel, Our Lord said “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt. 28:19-20). This is the mission of the Sacred Heart Cathedral School, fidelity to Jesus’ words and truly to live out the rich teachings of our Catholic faith.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please email [email protected] and we will be happy to answer them in full, in a forthcoming public announcement.

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