Statement regarding Immaculata Catholic School

Bishop Zarama continues to support the recent decisions Fr. Chris made in this matter and looks forward to further supporting him in inviting constructive dialogue with the school, parish and broader community.

Dear Immaculata School Parents,

I write to notify you that Immaculata Catholic School will be closed on Friday, February 8, 2019, and I extend my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause to you and the schedule for your family that day. 

We were planning to kick off our celebrations for Black History Month, which means so much to all of us each year, at Friday Morning Prayer. Regrettably, I understand from a variety of reports that a number of groups are planning demonstrations at our school that day, to register their respective opinions regarding Vernetta Alston, an Immaculata alumna and Durham City Council member who initially had been listed as one of the event speakers. As pastor, I cannot place our Immaculata students into this contentious environment.

In the education and formation of your children, it is our mission as a Catholic school to assist Catholic parents in clearly teaching our Catholic faith, show respect for the dignity of every human person, and to invite all children to encounter Our Lord Jesus and to follow Him. 

I express my gratitude for your understanding and patience as we close this trying week. I also ask you to join with me in praying for faithfulness, strength and healing within and outside of our parish community and city. 

With my prayers, always,
Fr. Christopher VanHaight, O.F.M., Pastor