San Domenico School ‘will no longer be Catholic,’ sisters announce

San Anselmo school, where removal of Catholic statuary on campus sparked international media attention earlier this year, drops affiliation with Church, will no longer be recognized as Catholic by San Francisco archdiocese
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Religious artifacts removed from display on the San Domenico School were moved to storage elsewhere on campus. (courtesy photo)

The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael have determined that San Domenico School in San Anselmo “will no longer be a Catholic school, and will not be recognized by the Archdiocese of San Francisco as such.”

The sisters made the announcement Nov. 13, noting that during the past several months the community’s leadership team “has prayed, reflected, studied, and consulted on the best way forward for San Domenico School’s accreditation.”

Founded by the sisters in 1850, the school will no longer be accredited by the Western Catholic Educational Association but will remain an independent school with accreditation by the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the sisters announced. The school will continue to be a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

“San Domenico School has, and will continue to honor, its Catholic and Dominican heritage,” the sisters said. “The Dominican Sisters and San Domenico School are deeply committed to remaining in relationship with one another and to the mission of the school. The sisters also explained their decision to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and remain deeply committed to their relationship with the archdiocese.

“While this decision was a difficult one for us to make, we feel confident it is the right one at this time for the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael and San Domenico School,” the sisters said.

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.

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  1. These words have no truth: “San Domenico School has, and will continue to honor, its Catholic and Dominican heritage” and “remain deeply committed to their relationship with the archdiocese.” They are bald-faced lies. It’s like telling your wife that you have honored and will continue to honor your marriage to her and be committed to her at the same time you announce that you are serving her with divorce papers. They’re just trying to put a smiley-face on the decision with those words. Good riddance.

  2. Disappointed Mom says:

    From Facebook page “San Domenico In Crisis” on 14 Nov 2017 at 3:30PM:
    San Domenico Binds Upper Applicants through Early Decision Process, Without Disclosing that School Will Drop its Catholic Identity 39 Minutes Later
    Just when we thought for a moment that San Domenico was coming clean, and doing the right thing by disclosing the truth that it has ceased to be a Catholic school, it turns out that in the same breath the Administration continued on with its pattern of deception.
    They locked high school applicants into a commitment to attend San Domenico Upper School, without informing them that, 39 minutes later, the School would announce that it has ceased to be Catholic.
    During the last few months, of course, the School…

    • I’m not surprised at all by the deception.

      I would think that any “early decision” contract could be broken by parents on the basis of false representation. The contract would be nullified because the school materially changed the terms of the agreement by fundamentally altering the school’s character after the agreement had been signed.

      On the other hand, any parent who was interested in San Domenico School probably wasn’t interested in a Catholic education anyway, so I don’t expect many parents to be up in arms.

  3. It appears that certain Dominican houses are following in the steps of the Jesuits. On the plus side, at least they have acknowledged they are no longer a Catholic institution, and that is better than the folks at Georgetown, Notre Dame and numerous other CINO institutions.

  4. Do the sisters retain ownership of the school? The “full story” at Catholic SF didn’t provide that important detail.

  5. So when will the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael fess up and admit they’re also no longer Catholic?

  6. St. Christopher says:

    Gee, one wonders if the state of that order, and its Zombie-Liberal bent, has anything to do with this decision. They have lost over 2/3 of their members, and the remaining ones are often older. Better to look more “modern” — anyone see a habit there anymore — as a means to be more competitive in the private, secondary school marketplace. Regardless, it is likely that the sisters — without change — will drift off into history, its earlier glory destroyed by its commitment to the “other mission” idiocy of post-Vatican II implementation. Yes, much better to have a circle dance than to say the rosary.

  7. There was a day when the leaders who toppled statues would get toppled themselves.

    Surely the families are the operational funding of this entire organization – perhaps it is time to throw these “nun bums” out?

    “Not a penny more.”

  8. Ivy League says:

    They’ve discerned what the devil wants!

  9. William Robert says:

    What about all of the families that built up and supported the school over many years? What consideration was given to the sacrifice these families made to insure their children would have a Catholic education? Who now owns the school property and buildings? I suspect the rich elite parents who currently send their children to the school want the high quality associated with a Catholic school but do not want their children instructed in the beautiful Catholic faith. This is a tragedy!

  10. William of Baskerville says:

    Meanwhile, as great Catholic institutions evaporate, like San Domenico School, another great Catholic gothic-revival edifice is saved in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in this case by the SSPX:

    The church was slated for destruction and sale by the dying Utrecht archdiocese at one time, but a dedicated priest, Fr. Winand Kotte, and a small group of parishioners bought it and established it as a concert center until it could be restored to traditional worship.

    Too bad it seems only the SSPX, the CMRI’s, Institute of Christ the King, FSSP and so few others care enough to save holy and great historic Catholic sites like this…

  11. Anonymous 2 says:

    Remember a few months ago, when this story came out, how the San Domenico School and the San Rafael Domonican Sisters denied that they were secularizing the institution?

    Well, now who was telling the truth?

  12. Are catholic schools supposed to be finishing schools for the sparse children of the upper middle class?
    (No.) There’s a silver lining to this mess, clergy will opt to teach all families the Faith, instructing first the parents who will in turn instruct their children; what a radical idea. ;_)

  13. A left handed form of honesty, which is to say NOT. Going totally secular would have been the righteous thing to do so all could be suitably cautioned.

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