Due to financial shortfalls, the Catholic Diocese of Memphis closed several of their jubilee schools this week.
After a multimillion-dollar donation from an anonymous group of donors, the first Jubilee schools were opened in 1999 in hopes of educating some of the cities poorest children.
The mostly non-Catholic students were educated paying little or no tuition, many were refugees who found their way to Memphis. “ We educate them because we are Catholic, not because they are.” said lifelong educator Mary McDonald.
This week teachers all the jubilee schools were told to remove all religious materials from the school before the incoming charter school takes over.
St. Paul Catholic School, in Whitehaven, is staffed with staffed with some Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation and is not a Jubilee School and it will remain open.
Below is a video about the Jubilee Schools when they were open. This was shot at Holy Names in North Memphis, not far from where Mother Teresa opened a convent for the Missionaries of Charity to serve the poorest of the poor in Memphis. It highlights the mission of the church. “When we closed those schools we left more than old buildings behind, we left children, and those children need us now more than ever” Mary McDonald.