MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Catholic Diocese of Memphis announced Tuesday the closure of Immaculate Conception Cathedral School’s high school after nearly 100 years in midtown Memphis.
Janet Donato, superintendent of Memphis Catholic Schools, said in a statement from the Diocese they hoped recruiting and Tennessee Educational Savings Accounts would help grow enrollment over the next school year. But the recent economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to continue operating the high school, said Very Rev. Robert Marshall, Cathedral parish pastor.
Donato said competition from other private, public and charter schools contributed to their enrollment decline.
“We have made our mark on Midtown Memphis," said Father Robert Marshall. “So many of our graduates have continued to excel, and shine forth the spirit that they learned here, on this campus, largely through the efforts of the sisters of Mercy many years ago.”
Immaculate Conception Cathedral opened the campus in 1922, and the high school has lasted 98 years in various configurations, according to the Diocese. Since 1950, the parish has educated thousands of young women.
Father Marshall said the parish will work with current students to place them in another Catholic school.
The elementary and middle schools will remain open.
The I.C. Cathedral parish will soon experience another loss as well. Father Marshall is leaving Memphis.
Pope Francis recently named him the new Bishop of the Diocese in Alexandria, Louisiana.