PHILADELPHIA PA – Jack Quindlen, a retired business executive who led the committee that helped build Pope John Paul II High School in Royersford PA – the successor building to St. Pius X High in Lower Pottsgrove – was named Tuesday (Dec. 7, 2010) as chairman of a group charged with charting “the future of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

Pope John Paul II High in Royersford.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of the greater Philadelphia area’s Roman Catholics, said his “blue ribbon commission” to be headed by Quindlen would oversee a comprehensive study of Archdiocesan elementary and secondary schools, including several located in and surrounding Pottstown, Royersford, and Limerick PA.

Quindlen is a retired senior vice-president and chief financial officer of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, as well as a former chairman of the Archdiocesan Board of Education. He was chairman of the building committee that helped erect Pope John Paul II High, as well as Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown PA.

Rigali’s 17-member commission, whose members he and Quindlen formally announced, is tasked with determining where Catholic education should be headed. A declining economy, lower enrollments and rising costs have the Philadelphia archdiocese and others across the country “finding themselves at a crossroads, carefully seeking what path is best for the future,” the cardinal said.

The archdiocese this year has closed or merged several schools in cost-cutting and efficiency measures. Rigali, in an October (2010) pastoral letter to church leaders and congregants, said he would ask the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education to launch the education study, and also look at special education and religious education programs. The data will be reviewed by the commission, which is expected to make recommendations by September 2011.

Commission members, the archdiocese said in a statement, include “talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, from corporate leaders to educational experts, all of whom are dedicated to Catholic education.”

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