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St. Thomas Fate Meeting's Topic

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St. Thomas Fate Meeting’s Topic

BY GLENN GILBERT Religion Editor

Three local advocates of a plan to convert St. Thomas High School to an area-wide institution want to attend tonight’s closed-door session of the Lansing Catholic Diocesan Board of Education.

Purpose of the diocesan board’s session is to discuss the future of St. Thomas High. The meeting will be held in Lansing.

Robert E. Marshall, president of the St. Thomas Board of Education, said he, Anthony Schork and Claude R. Martin Jr. have asked to be allowed to attend tonight’s meeting. The trio would like to serve as resource persons able to elaborate on a 15-page supplemental report they have provided to the diocesan board.

The 15-page report is a supplement to the 91-page feasibility study presented last month to the diocesan board by the local Catholic Central Study Committee. That committee explored the feasibility of establishing a Catholic central high school at the St. Thomas High site.

Marshall last week sent his request to be allowed to attend tonight’s meeting to William Kelly, a Jackson lawyer who heads the diocesan board. He had not received a reply as of early this morning and planned to call Kelly later in the day.

The News has learned that Mary Claire Anhut of Ypsilanti also has requested permission to attend tonight’s meeting.

Anhut headed the Catholic Central Study Committee. The committee divided, on a 6-6 vote', on the question of recommending establishment of an area high school at St. Thomas which would draw support from all local Catholic parishes.

Marshall, Schork and Martin argue that an opinion survey of local Catholics revealed strong support for the area high school concept for St. Thomas High.

However, pastors of three key local parishes — St. Thomas and St. Francis here and St. John’s in Ypsilanti — oppose establishment of the area high school, mostly for financial reasons.

Marshall said it is his understanding the diocesan board will make a recommendation on the future of St. Thomas High in January. No decision is likely tonight.

Actually, the final authority for the decision rests with the Most Rev. Kenneth J. Povish, bishop of the 10-county Diocese of Lansing.

Bishop Povish has said the current school year is to be the last for St. Thomas High as an institution primarily supported by one parish — St. Thomas.

The bishop ordered the Catholic Central Study Committee’s exploration of the possibility of making St. Thomas High an area-wide