Date: May 10, 2012
To: The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
Subject: Name of New Catholic k-8 School Resulting From Merger of St Angela Merici and St Joseph Regional Catholics Schools and Parishes in District 4, Vicariate 2
We, the undersigned parishioners and families representing the eight parishes impacted by this merger, are requesting that the proposed name be reconsidered for the reasons that are outlined below.
It is a vital Catholic tradition to name our children after Saints; it provides us with a constant reminder that we walk through this life in communion with all the saints. It has also long been a Catholic tradition that Churches and Catholic Schools follow this same tradition, in honoring the Saints, and carrying a name to act as a beacon for the values and qualities we want to mirror in our lives.
All of the Parishes that are now coming together under the Diocese plan have followed this time honored tradition – St. Angela Merici, St Joseph Regional, Queen of the Rosary, Corpus Christi, St Mark, St. Patrick, St Robert Bellarmine, St. Jude and St. Michaels. We recognize that adopting one of these existing names for our combined school may not represent the spirit of coming together that will be embodied in the new school. However, we as parents feel that it is critically important that the new school must represent the holiness and faith to all who see or hear it. There are many beautiful and powerful options that have been proposed – All Saints, Our Lady of the Valley. Or the name could represent a new Saint name – St. Andrew’s Academy. A name such as this is one that would make our children proud, our families proud and our community proud.
The proposed name – Mon Yough Catholic, does not reflect our Catholic tradition. It does not speak to our faith, our spirit, or holiness. It’s a secular name, referring to the local geography. In fact, the names originate from Native American words -- The word Monongalia is a Latinized version of the Native American word Monongahela, which means "falling banks", in reference to the geological instability of the river's banks. Youghiogheny River, is derived from the Indian yukwiakhanna, "a stream taking a round-about course." Where is the meaning? How does this portray our values? Our mission?
More importantly, Mon Yough is a name that is already identified with many non-religious entities -- Mon Yough Plumbing Apprentice School, Mon Yough Outfitters and most recognized Mon Yough Community Services (http://www.mycs.org/) a McKeesport organization that provides social services for drug and alcohol addiction. This is not the association that we want to have affiliated with our great school and students.
We as parents have made the greatest commitment to our schools. We have entrusted you with our most cherished children. We have chosen to support the Catholic Schools and pay tuition to provide our children with a Catholic and quality education. All we ask is that you honor our wishes to be part of this process. Give us a name we can be proud of, and one the reflects our values and faith.
Many parents signing this petition will include proposed names to be considered and their comments. We request that a committee of church and school leaders, AND PARENTS, be convened to reconsider the new school name, and adopt one that is more appropriate to our values and faith.
God bless you.
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