July 24, 2023
STATEMENT REGARDING ST. AGNES SCHOOL IN OSAKIS
In consultation with the pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Osakis, the parish trustees, and the Diocese of St. Cloud’s superintendent of Catholic schools, Bishop Patrick Neary, C.S.C., has made the difficult decision to close St. Agnes School before the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
St. Agnes School has faced numerous challenges for many years, and it has reached a point where a different direction is needed to support Catholic school education for the community’s families, Bishop Neary said. These challenges are long-term and include the inability to recruit and retain teachers and a principal, insufficient resources for proper staff compensation and necessary training, and diminishing enrollment.
“This was not an easy decision to make, and I know it has saddened many people,” Bishop Neary said. “As the former pastor of a parish with a Catholic school, I know how much students and families love their school and appreciate the Catholic education they receive. I’m grateful to the teachers and staff who carried out this ministry with great care and love. But the ongoing difficulties point to the need for change so that children have long-term, accessible options for an excellent Catholic school education.”
The parish’s pastor, Father Matthew Kuhn, is working with others to plan a way forward and ensure a Catholic school education is available and accessible to local families for the 2023-2024 school year and into the future.
“Father Matthew has my support,” Bishop Neary said. “I ask everyone to join me in keeping the parish and school community in prayer during this time of change.”