Feb 4 - Lawrence Catholic Academy Established*

To Open in the Fall 2010

Lawrence, MA – With a focus “to expand and improve Catholic education in our area,” the Pastors of St. Patrick Parish in Lawrence and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Lawrence/Metheun have announced a dynamic initiative to establish Lawrence Catholic Academy by merging their parish schools.  Lawrence Catholic Academy will open at the site of the current St. Patrick School in September 2010 and will serve children from age three (nursery) through eighth grade.

In a letter to parents and guardians of students attending St. Patrick and Our Lady of Good Counsel Schools, Pastors Rev. Marc J. Bishop and Rev. Paul B. O’Brien stated the following, “We share a strong belief that Catholic education is one of the most important ministries in the Church. Catholic education offers our children and families superb spiritual, academic, and human formation.”

Noting that over the past few months a comprehensive review was conducted examining the challenges and opportunities involved in their decision, they added, “We have concluded that we need to take a bold step to address the significant financial challenges facing Our Lady of Good Counsel School and the declining enrollments that all of Lawrence’s Catholic schools have experienced in recent years. Rather than standing by to witness the decline of Catholic education in Lawrence, we have reached a decision that we believe will launch an exciting new chapter for Catholic education in Lawrence and Methuen.”

Very Reverend Arthur M. Coyle, V.E., Episcopal Vicar for the Merrimack Region said, “On behalf of Cardinal Seán, I want to express our gratitude to Fr. Bishop and Fr. O’Brien, as well as their school and parish leadership teams, for having the energy and vision to create this new and wonderful opportunity for families.  Catholic education is an important ministry of the Church.  We give thanks to God for the work accomplished to date and we ask His blessing on our faculty, staff, principals and pastors as they set out to fulfill the mission of establishing Lawrence Catholic Academy.”  

“Lawrence Catholic Academy is the result of great leadership and a shared commitment to deliver on the promise of providing outstanding Catholic education for students and families,” said Dr. Mary Grassa O’Neill, Secretary for Education/Superintendent for Catholic Schools.  “In particular I want to thank the faculty and staff for creating schools of excellence, which will serve the new Academy well as it sets sail in the Fall of 2010.”

Teachers and Staff

The new principal of Lawrence Catholic Academy will be hired in March 2010 and will be responsible for hiring the faculty and staff.  All current teachers and staff are encouraged to apply for positions at the new academy.

The application process for teachers and staff positions will begin in April 2010.  In the weeks ahead, the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese will be updating teachers and staff about the process.  They will also be coordinating transition sessions for all faculty and staff with the Archdiocese’s Human Resources Office.

The Parishes are hosting a combined informational meeting for parents and guardians from both Our Lady of Good Counsel School and St. Patrick School. At the meeting, details of the plans for Lawrence Catholic Academy will be addressed and there will be time for questions and answers from parents and guardians.

In their letter, Fr. Bishop and Fr. O’Brien wrote, “Our goal is to provide a positive experience and smooth transition for our students, families, teachers, and staff. With your support and prayers, we will continue to serve your children and future generations.”


St. Patrick’s School

Age of Building: 104 years
Classrooms:         25
Faculty:                19
Tuition:                $3,205

Enrollment Trends:

2009-2010:          317
2008/2009:          346
2007/2008:          385
2006/2007:          427
2005/2006:          452
2004/2005:          458

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Age of Building:  90 years
Classrooms:         13
Faculty:                20
Tuition:                $3,325

Enrollment Trends

2009-2010:          135
2008/2009:          152
2007/2008:          174
2006/2007:          195
2005/2006:          172
2004/2005:          206