Diocese: Declining enrollment prompts merger of two York County Catholic schools

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
In this file photo, St. Patrick School students walk to Our Daily Bread while delivering items collected in the school's food drive in November 2015. The Diocese of Harrisburg announced the York City Catholic School will be merging with St. Joseph School-Dallastown at the end of the current school year.

Citing financial challenges in the past several years, the Diocese of Harrisburg announced on Saturday, Jan. 26, that two York County Catholic schools will consolidate at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

St. Joseph School-Dallastown and St. Patrick School will become one school, after consulting with and gaining permission from Bishop William Gainer, according to the diocese's release. 

The new combined school, York Catholic Elementary, will open in the current St. Patrick School building at 235 S. Beaver St. in York City in August, according to the release. 

The York Deanery of area Catholic churches has experienced a 20 percent decrease in enrollment and a 40 percent decrease in the number of baptisms in the past 12 years, according to the release. 

"We are grateful to parents for the many years of support they have given to St. Joseph-Dallastown and St. Patrick schools, and for entrusting their children to the schools for their formation," the release states. 

The consolidation plan was first discussed by a group of community members concerned over the future of Catholic education in the York Deanery, but the group decided not to move forward with their plans following limited support after a public meeting last fall, according to the release.