W. Catholic HS president resigns

A bit of Catholic school news...

Brother Timothy Ahern, president of West Philadelphia Catholic, has resigned his post effective immediately, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement Thursday.

West Catholic is one of the schools the Archdiocese has ordered to close at the end of the year. Brother Tim, a West Catholic alumnus, decided not to appeal the decision.  He said he did not want to raise false hopes by appealing.

"His decision, which was based on facts related to future enrollment projections, was made with a heavy heart," the Archdiocese statement said.  The decision "created an untenable atmosphere for Brother Tim throughout the school."

Brother Tim was a West Catholic student from 1962 through 1966 and a teacher from 1971 through 1979.

Thomas Rooney, the Archdiocese Assistant Superintendent of Schools, will serve as interim president for the remainder of the year.

Archdiocese leaders said that Brother Tim deserves part of the credit for the school remaining open as long as it has.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of Brother Tim's resignation," Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic education for the Archdiocese, said in the statement. "He loves West Catholic with all of his heart. His care for each and every member of the school community was evident in the devotion and dedication he put into his work."

The school's enrollment has sharply declined in the past decade, and its expenses outstrip its ability to raise funds.  West Catholic currently enrolls 360 students, and uses less than a third of its building capacity.