Let St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church and School STAND ALONE

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We, the parishioners and parents of St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church and School, remain committed to the spirit of the Renew My Church process by making disciples, inspiring witness, and building communities. To continue our growth and progress with these objectives, St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church and School should remain as a STAND-ALONE parish and school. We have already proven success and serve as a model for the Archdiocese:

 ·         We have doubled our parishioner base over the last six years.

·         Our school is a TWO-TIME NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON AWARD WINNER by the United States Department of Education.

·         Both parish and school are financially solvent, and the school is at capacity.

 Yet despite these facts, it has been recommended that St. Therese parish be downgraded to a worship site, and our school is being asked to take on a second school campus that would require significant financial investment in order to operate.

 We are petitioning to remain a STAND-ALONE parish and school so we do not wipe out our potential built on our unique and specific position:

 1)    We serve a distinct community – Our mission as the Archdiocesan Center for Chinese Apostolate is to serve and be a resource to the newly immigrated Chinese in our community. These services include supporting the Mandarin-speaking group, offering English conversational courses, and assisting Chinese-speaking college students. We are the only Chinese Catholic church in the Midwest. Combining our parish with another which does not understand the community will erode the impact of the Chinese Apostolate.

2)    We have a differentiated approach – Unlike most Catholic schools, the majority of our students come from non-Catholic families. We have to take a different tack to evangelization and our approach works. Our student body went from < 5% Catholic to now 1/3rd Catholic. In fact, one of our former students has been ordained a diocesan priest and baptized his own mother.

3)    We are poised for growth - The burgeoning Chinese community and our school’s success are baselines for continued growth – however, this growth can only be achieved organically over time. Strapping on a second school campus with its expenses will stunt our trajectory, if not cause us to fall into the negative financially.

We, the parishioners, parents, and communities of Chinatown and St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church and School, respectfully and boldly urge Cardinal Cupich to allow us to remain a STAND-ALONE parish and school to ensure our continued growth and success for the benefit of the community and the universal Church.