Catholic high schools in Newton and Fall River announce they will close at end of school year

Both Mount Alvernia High School in Newton and Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River will close at the end of the current school year.

Two Catholic high schools in Massachusetts have announced that they will be closing at the end of the current school year.

The leaders of Mount Alvernia High School, an all-girls school in Newton, announced the decision on Wednesday.

Mount Alvernia will merge with Fontbonne Academy in Milton, according to a letter posted on the school’s website. Fontbonne is also a Catholic, all-girls school.

“Fontbonne is aligned with our culture and commitment to developing the full person, and the school believes deeply in cultivating women of courage who are ready to create their own individual future. Together with Fontbonne’s leadership, the MAHS team established this partnership to ensure students and families are able to continue their education at an all-girls Catholic high school with an exceptional reputation,” Mount Alvernia officials wrote in their letter.


This move is happening because the Mount Alvernia founders, who own the property at 790 Centre St., decided that they are no longer able to continue living on the property, according to the letter. It is “unsustainable” for Mount Alvernia to continue alone, and the property will be sold.

Mount Alvernia officials said that the school’s Board of Directors worked “tirelessly” to explore all options, including maintaining the school at a new location.

The school will continue to operate as normal through June 13. Any student in good standing will be admitted to Fontbonne, and officials are coordinating student transportation to make the transition possible for every student.

School officials are “reviewing possibilities in hopes” that current faculty will be able to move to Fontbonne.

“Throughout this transition, our students will remain our top priority and we are committed to doing everything we can to minimize any stress this decision may cause and help them as they move forward in their academic careers,” Mount Alvernia officials wrote.

Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River will also close at the end of the current school year. The announcement was made by The Diocese of Fall River on Wednesday.

Officials there cited declining enrollment and the “substantial impact” that the pandemic has had on the school.


Efforts by the Diocese of Fall River to expand enrollment and strengthen financial aid opportunities in recent years have not been enough, officials said.

“Despite these efforts, Bishop Connolly has experienced a significant decline in enrollment and, as a result, the Diocese has spent over $1 million to sustain the school over the past five years. The Diocese no longer has the resources to continue to keep Bishop Connolly operational,” Diocese of Fall River leaders wrote.

School officials are planning Zoom meetings with parents to discuss admissions to other Diocesan high schools, tuition, financial aid, and transportation.

“So many people have extraordinary needs amidst this economic uncertainty, and the Diocese needs to leverage its precious resources to an even greater extent,” Bishop Edgar da Cunha of the Diocese of Fall River said in a statement. “We are confident that our Catholic school leadership will provide both pastoral support and educational guidance to all affected families so that their children can transition and be welcomed into a new Catholic school family.”


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