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Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks on potential local school closures

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Albany/HV: Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks on potential local school closures
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Cardinal Timothy Dolan visited the Hudson Valley Monday addressing the recent announcement regarding at-risk Catholic schools in the area. Five local schools are on the list. As YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt tells us, it's upsetting for both the Cardinal and those in the community.

HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan came to the Hudson Valley to visit a local nursing home, but he had to answer some tough questions about five area Catholic schools labeled at-risk of closure.

”There is a natural and understandable sadness amongst so many. Myself included. But what we’re trying to do is this, to keep Catholic schools as strong and rigorous and as available and accessible as possible,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

St. Mary of the Snow in Saugerties is on the chopping block, along with St. Joseph’s in Kingston, St. Joseph’s in Milbrook, Sacred Heart in Newburgh and Regina Coeli in Hyde Park. Cardinal Dolan says if these schools close, he hopes the students will be welcomed by other Catholic schools.

“Our goal is to make sure that there is a strong Catholic school close for any child that wants to go,” said Cardinal Dolan.

But Reverend Christopher Berean says there’s no Catholic school from Saugerties to Albany, leaving him to question why his school is at risk in the first place.

“The Cardinal publicly stated that he would not close the schools that were the only place for Catholics to go for Catholic education and there is no school east, west or north of us. We are it,” said Rev Christopher Berean of St. Mary of the Snow.

Family members of students here are also questioning the potential closure. They say they'll be left with no other option but public schools which could deprive their children of the amenities afforded by a Catholic education.

“It builds a lot of character in the kids and it builds respect and the catholic education which is also important. I hope it doesn't come to pass,” said grandparent of a St. Mary’s student Lou Via.

The Archdiocese is expected to make a final decision by January.

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