Diocese to sell items from shuttered high school in online auction
BATON ROUGE - The Diocese of Baton Rouge will not change its decision about closing Redemptorist High School, but will sell school memorabilia as a fundraiser for scholarships.
The diocese announced the details of the fundraiser by sharing an article in a recent Catholic Commentator that outlines the plan.
"We recognized there is a great deal of precious materials that are on the grounds now. We would like for those (materials) in the hands of those people connected with the school and covet them and invested in them. So we are trying to identify the fairest way to make that happen," Eddie James, immediate past president of the Catholic School Board and a member of the Redemptorist Closing Steering Committee, told the publication.
Money raised will help pay for students who attend diocesan Catholic high schools and are likely going to be awarded based on need. The exact process has not been finalized.
"This is an emotional issue, no two ways around," James told Catholic Commentator about the controversy surrounding the closure. But, he added, it's the best decision.
"It's the least bad of some bad choices," he added. "We recognize on its surface, it can look crass that we are trying to profit from the closure. Nothing could be further from the truth. We've spent a lot of time talking trying to avoid that perception but you see an item and a dollar amount associated with that, it's easy to draw that conclusion. That's not the case."
The article also shed new light into the future of faculty, staff and students - something the diocese has not discussed much about until now. According to the report, half of the faculty have secured jobs at other Catholic schools and most students have been accepted at other Catholic schools. Some, though, were rejected because they did not meet academic criteria.
While no decision has been made on what to do with the property, the diocese said it is open to leasing the high school campus.
The diocese announced in December it was going to close the junior and senior level high schools at the end of this school year.
The Catholic Commentator said the diocese will place the Redemptorist items for bid on its Sharing the Memories website in about a week.
In addition to memorabilia, athletic equipment and vehicles are expected to be for sale. Proceeds from those items will help pay the $1.5 million debt the school has with the diocese.
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