Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nativity's 100 years comes to an end, but where was Media Borough Council?

The delcotimes is reporting that St. John's won it's appeal to merge and relocate Nativity to Wallingford.

It's a very sad day in any town when a school that was around for a hundred years receives news that it will be merged and relocated to another area.  It's equally concerning that Council President, Brian Hall, Mayor Bob McMahon and borough council never made mention of the issue even after having two opportunities through public meetings to address it.  The question begs: did they know or even care?  Based on their lack of actions, the answer seems obvious.

Last month Mayor McMahon was able to make statements about the Chester Upland School District, but failed to make any mention of Nativity during it's time of need.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the 3,600 students in the Chester Upland School District. If Dr. King were here, he would make sure the children would get the education they deserve,” said McMahon.

Media Council President, Brian Hall
Council President, Brian Hall campaigned last year advocating how he was a proponent years ago in keeping Media Elementary in Media.  Yet, he never used that experience to assist with Nativity's situation.  All schools are important and the threat of any one of them leaving should be the top priority on any list!  Nativity has been part of the community fabric in this town for 100 years!

A few weeks ago, I spoke to people close to the matter, who said that Nativity wasn't accepting any outside involvement and was adhering to the final ruling.  I took the time to research this issue for the community, did Borough Council?  If they did, they should have at least generated a statement to the community stating such.  
As I wrote a month ago, not having a formal position from your elected officials show lack of leadership and disregard for the situation. Why wouldn't have St. John won the appeal? Borough council evidently wasn't going to lift a finger to stop it.

This town had a strong case and obligation to the teachers, students and families in supporting their concerns towards keeping this school here.  The decision was up to the Arch Dioceses, but Media's had an equal right to take a position to communicate and reassure the importance of Nativity.  Borough Council chose not to, and the profound lack of leadership by President Hall speaks volumes of his commitment to this town.

To the teachers, students and families of Nativity: I'm sorry to have heard of this decision today, but you shouldn't have had to face this struggle alone and without the support of your elected leaders.  Had things been different last November, I assure you, you wouldn't have.
Nativity has been part of the Media fabric for the last 100 years and this is not something that should be decided quietly.  Nor should Media's elected officials stand on the sidelines and wait for a decision, when they can actively participate in a possible outcome.   I, for one, support Media Nativity remaining in Media and will do what I can help.  It would be a shame to lose a school like this under an appeal of these circumstances.  Tedman O'Hara Jan 16th 2012


  1. This is very sad. I am a 1975 grad of Nativity BVM and was married at the Church. We still reside in the borough and would like to hold the politicians accountable for their promises made (will affect our vote in 2015). Please keep and uphod the promises you make~ we are listening. I am not even a parish member, but I DO care for the parishioners and their children! Paulette

  2. I do feel for the students who are the victims in this mess. Do not blame Borough Council. Perhaps the underlying anger in this post should be directed at the Arch Dioceses.

  3. By saying nothing council proved they didn't give a rat's ass about the school or the people in the community affected by it.

    Get used to it.

  4. what is going to happen to the building/property?

  5. Betcha the building and property get developed and MEDIA BORO COUNCIL gets what it wanted all along more tax money and less religious education. Hope they save that tax money to fix 3rd street.

    1. I'm pretty sure that stripping away privately funded religious education in order to create more tax revenue is not the motive of Borough Council. Sounds more like a Glen Beck theory. Its strange to me that when Council is not commenting, everyone pretends to know where Council stands on this issue. And still . . . no outrage directed towards the Archdiocese? Can they do no wrong? Why is Media Borough Council the scapegoat here?

    2. Council's an easy scapegoat because they offered NOTHING towards defending one of the town's oldest insitiutions. No words, no resolution, no statement, nothing. They showed this town and its residents that they're in it for themselves: ONLY issues that pertain to their own interests. As a community we deserved someone to speak for us ALL.

    3. As a Catholic, even I would like Council to stay away from this issue. Council may speak for us "ALL" in terms of borough business but the moment they get involved in organized religion, they've already excluded the majority.

  6. Brendan O'RiordanFebruary 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Is there any evidence that township, borough, or city officials where other private religious schools are slated to close have made statements concerning the decision of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to close said private, religious schools?

    Just what exactly is Media Borough Council supposed to do/say with regard to a private religious school affiliated with a tax exempt church?

    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia made the decision to close the school. It is up to parishioners and members of the Media community to direct their frustrations or complaints to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Frankly I don't think the Archdiocese would give a care about what, if anything, Media Borough Council has to say about this issue.

    "Last month Mayor McMahon was able to make statements about the Chester Upland School District, but failed to make any mention of Nativity during it's (sic) time of need."

    That is because Mayor McMahon is a public official, speaking about a public school, funded by taxpayers.

    As a citizen of Media Borough, I would be very sad to see Nativity BVM school leave the borough. It definitely is a big part of this community. It is up to the citizen of Media, however, to voice their opinions to those who make the decisions: Archbishop Chaput, the blue ribbon commission, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

  7. Brendan,

    Why would evidence of action from another township, borough of city official be needed? Are other towns or gestures from neighboring local governments required to do what's right for Media? For the community?

    Tonight I witnessed people I knew and grew up with trying to save their school. As saddened as they were, they had to courage to speak up. Regardless of whatever position I may or may not hold isn't the point. It's not about religion or church affiliation, It's coming to the aide of helping your community.

    If the Mayor, you or anyone else were in a position that prevented you from speaking up on an issue like this because you can only speak about public schools funded by taxpayer money; while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with families who you grew up with and who relied on your support to help them, then I think you misinterpreted what's really important.


  8. I thought the appeal decisions are is Nativity planning to file an appeal now?

  9. Does anyone at Nativity realize it is the priest that had to file an appeal? The priest at Nativity had the opportunity to appeal the merger and he didn't. Meanwhile where is the priest--he hightailed it out of town so he wouldn't have to deal with anyone at Nativity. It seems like only some facts are making it into the paper--the Nativity priest was very upfront about telling the folks at SJ that he projected spending $900,000 over the next 9 years to renovate the Nativity school building--I am sure that came up during the appeal process. I have no problem at all with maintaining 2 Catholic schools in this area, if that should come to pass, but nothing mysterious happened at the appeals process-the SJ group presented a detailed and thorough report about the facilities at SJ--which is very relevant since the BRC didn't even properly count the classrooms at SJ.

  10. Sorry to the folks who go there, but BVM is a private, religious institution which means the public can't help, (Borough Council). I would be pissed if Borough Council was wasting it's time, and our tax dollars, fighting/commenting on a religious institution.

    BVM is basically a privately funded church, so good riddance.