FALL RIVER — Bishop Connolly High School will end its 56-year run when it closes at the end of the academic year due to what Bishop Edgar da Cunha calls "very challenging times," the Fall River Diocese announced Wednesday.

In a news release, the diocese cited declining enrollment, financial fallout from the pandemic and the current economic climate as reasons.

“While we sincerely regret having to close Bishop Connolly, our ultimate goal is to strengthen Catholic education in the diocese for the future,” Fall River Diocese Superintendent of Schools Daniel S. Roy said in a statement. “We are committed to helping families transition to other Diocesan Catholic high schools and to make the process as seamless as possible.”

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Only three years ago, Connolly opened its doors to students from Coyle & Cassidy High after the diocese shut down that Taunton school.

Despite focusing on enrollment, recruitment and financial aid opportunities, the school couldn't keep up and spent over $1 million to sustain operations over the past five years. The diocese "no longer has the resources" to keep the Elsbree Street school open, the release stated.

“We continue to experience very challenging times that have put an even greater financial strain on many families,” da Cunha said in a statement. “So many people have extraordinary needs amidst this economic uncertainty, and the diocese needs to leverage its precious resources to an even greater extent.  We are confident that our Catholic school leadership will provide both pastoral support and educational guidance to all affected families so that their children can transition and be welcomed into a new Catholic school family.”

Parents and school leaders are expected to meet to discuss admission at other diocese high schools, tuition and financial aid, transportation and other concerns.

Bishop Connolly opened in 1967.

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