St. Mary School in Mt. Morris closing due to 'perfect storm'

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MT. MORRIS (WJRT) (6/27/2018) - St. Mary School in Mt. Morris closed for good when school let out earlier this month, according to a letter from the church.

The Rev. Roy Horning said the school no longer was financially viable due to declining enrollment, declining church attendance, rising costs and more families seeking tuition assistance.

"Simply, it was the result of a perfect storm of many factors converging over several years," Horning wrote.

St. Mary Church at 11100 N. Saginaw St., where the school is based, has subsidized the school's operational costs partially with money collected during offerings on Sundays. Fewer people attending mass has reduced the amount of money collected.

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing, which oversees Flint-area parishes, has a target of 37 percent for the amount of offering money devoted to school operations.

Horning said St. Mary School required 61 percent of offerings to sustain itself during the most recent school year -- and projections showed even more would be required in the next school year.

Genesee County still has four other Catholic schools expected to open in the fall. Horning said the Catholic education system is undergoing a change, in which multiple churches support schools rather than having churches run their own schools.