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Third Chicago-area Catholic school granted reprieve, keeps doors open

Our Lady Victory school Portage Park neighborhood | Sun-Times files

Our Lady of Victory school in the Portage Park neighborhood | Sun-Times files

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Updated: March 3, 2014 1:20AM

One of the six Catholic schools the Archdiocese of Chicago recently announced would shutter after this school year was granted a reprieve, officials announced during the weekend.

After being slated for closure in January, St. Florian School, 13110 S. Baltimore Ave., will remain open for the foreseeable future with a combination of tuition increases, greater outside support and increased oversight and governance, officials said.

The school organized a pledge drive that netted $82,000 in cash and checks for the 2014-2015 school year, with $95,000 also committed for the next two subsequent school years, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

St. Florian is the third school given a reprieve after the Archdiocese announced the planned closures of six financially struggling Catholic schools earlier this year. Our Lady of Victory on the Northwest Side and St. Christopher in southwest suburban Midlothian, also set to close, were able to keep their doors open.

In a letter to St. Florian principal Krisa Wilkinson, the Archdiocese said it is “critical” that the school’s community continue to work with parishioners, families and alumni to ensure the school’s viability.

“This opportunity could not have happened without your vision, honesty, and expertise which resulted in a careful plan to ensure that St. Florian will be there in service and mission, providing confidence in a strong academic and religious program,” the letter readThe three remaining schools slated to close are the Stewart Avenue campus of the Academy of St. Benedict the African on the South Side, St. Bernadette in Evergreen Park and Santa Maria del Popolo in Mundelein.

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