Onetime flagship Catholic school closing in Philly
Saturday, June 12, 2010
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Even as financially strapped Catholic schools continue to close across the country, no one in Philadelphia ever thought the church would close Cardinal Dougherty (DOCK-er-tee) High School.
Cardinal Dougherty once boasted 6,000 students and billed itself as the biggest Catholic school in the world. Its marching band played for the pope, Princess Grace and a presidential inauguration.
But like many urban Catholic schools, Dougherty is a victim of declining enrollment and changing demographics. It will close its doors this month after 54 years and more than 40,000 graduates.
According to the National Catholic Education Association, the number of Catholic school students nationwide has declined 20 percent in the past decade.