All Saints Regional Catholic School to Become St. Mary Academy Next Summer

Dec 18, 2018
Source: Facebook

For 20 years, All Saints Regional Catholic School has provided a Christ-centered learning environment for students in Stafford Township and surrounding communities. Next July, the school is moving away from its regional model to become St. Mary Academy – no longer operating under the Diocese of Trenton, but instead under the administration of St. Mary’s Parish, Barnegat.

Monsignor Ken Tuzeneu, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, announced the change at the annual school Christmas concert on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

“Our school is thrilled to begin this new chapter,” he said. “I believe strongly in Catholic education, and I am very excited that our parish community will have a greater role with the school. We have a lot of students from our parish attending the school and are deeply invested in its success, so the transition makes sense.”

Since 1997, ASRCS has been supported by St. Mary’s Parish, as well as St. Pius X Parish in Forked River, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Whiting, St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island and St. Theresa’s Parish in Little Egg Harbor. Beyond financial support, the pastors have been a presence in the school, celebrating Masses and enriching the spiritual life of the students.

The transition to a parish model as an “academy” comes with the blessing of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.; JoAnn Tier, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Trenton; and the pastors of the other four sending parishes. All Saints has operated under diocesan administration since its opening as the first regional Catholic elementary school in the diocese.

With the transition, strengthening tuition assistance will be a priority. Additionally, special attention will be given to attracting new students to the school, including families in all five participating parishes and involving the Latino community that now is served by St. Mary’s Parish in its role as the center for Latino ministry in Southern Ocean County.

Barbara Vidal, a parent and teacher at the school, voiced her support of the adoption of the new parish model.

“We love our school and know our children are growing in their Catholic faith, as well as being academically challenged. As a parent and teacher, I welcome the transition because I know it will lead to our school establishing itself as the premier private Catholic school in Southern Ocean County.”

The parish school model has been cited by Catholic school development leaders because it offers a more focused and dedicated line of support for the school community. At the same time, it enriches the life of the parish.

“Catholic education is an important part of our faith, and I believe that incorporating the school into our parish will benefit not only the school, but our entire community,” Tuzeneu said. “From being named a ‘Future Ready School’ to our remarkable philanthropic efforts, there are great things happening in our school. There’s no better way to shine a light on them than to integrate the school’s operations into our flourishing parish.”

Tuzeneu expressed appreciation to the other four parishes for the important role they have played in the school’s strong foundation and for the ongoing support they will offer.

“They will still be associated with the new school as sending parishes and will continue to provide co-sponsorship funding,” he said. “They have all expressed their support for the new school and have offered their assistance.”

A transition team is expected to guide the new developments and will include members of the current school board of All Saints Regional. An informational meeting with the school community is planned for sometime in January.

David Biggy

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