Diocese Designates Donahue Academy as “Catholic” School
Published on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 23:21
The Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria can now officially call itself a "Catholic" school.
Bishop Frank Dewane has granted the school's request to affiliate with the Diocese of Venice and call itself an "independent Catholic school," diocesan Director of Education Dr. Kathleen Schwartz said Wednesday.
Institutions require their local bishop's permission to call themselves "Catholic." Ave Maria University was so designated a year ago.
Although the Donahue Academy now is officially affiliated with the diocese, it remains independent and the diocese has no direct oversight of the school, Dr. Schwartz said.
The main hurdle for Donahue was becoming accredited by the Florida Catholic Conference, Dr. Schwartz said, and once that occurred over the summer the diocesan school board recommended to the bishop that he approve Donahue's request for affiliation.
It is unusual for primary and secondary schools not run by a parish, diocese or religious order to affiliate with a diocese. "It's unique in this diocese," Dr. Schwartz said.
Donahue Headmaster Dan Guernsey refused a request for comment from The Ave Herald, saying he was reserving his comments solely for another publication.
The Donahue Academy also was named recently to the Cardinal Newman Society's list of the top 50 Catholic High Schools in the U.S. More details on that are available at the Newman Society's website here.