St. Louis King of France Church to close in November
BATON ROUGE – St. Louis King of France Catholic School will close in May, the diocese Announced Friday.
The closure comes as the parish church is consolidated with nearby St. Thomas Moore. In a letter to the school community, Reverend Michael J. Alello wrote the school cannot remain open without its home church.
“As a ministry of the parish, SLKF School follows the closing of the parish,” he wrote.
Sunday, days after the date was set for the school's closure, the diocese announced the parish church will close sooner than expected - November 26, 2017. Details of the church closure were made at Sunday masses.
“We're moving a mile up the road, we're not leaving the area. The problem is we don't have the capacity of priests to serve the current area, so that's requiring some consolidation.” Explained Rev. Allelo.
The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge is working to deal with a shortage of priests and has already closed St. Pius X. The church merged with St. Isidore the Farmer Parish earlier this year.
With the announcement of the church and school’s closure, came mixed emotions from its members Sunday following the announcement made at the end of mass.
“It’s been a community here for years and years and there are mixed feelings within the church,” said Michael Charrier, a churchgoer. “I just hope that everybody can come together.”
Coming together is the plan in the works for over a year. SLFK will be amalgamated into St. Thomas More, where all parishioners, members, assets, liabilities, and properties will be transferred over.
Despite concern from some members, Rev. Alello believes the change will be a positive move for all.
“I’m really excited about the fact that God is bringing these two parishes together. The challenge for us is to put our personal stuff aside so that we can allow God to work through us.” Rev. Alello said.
Regardless, he still understands the difficulty in the transition for all.
“There’s been a lot of positives of course, but there's been a lot of sadness as well anytime there is a change, people struggle with change, there is a change of their church home so there are some sadness and grief, but people are making their way through that and hopefully walking to something brand new and beautiful."
The diocese said it is planning meetings with parents. One is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27th at 6 p.m.
The current students will be transitioned to other Catholic schools with the help from current staff at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church.
St. Louis King of France Catholic School has organized 35 years ago.