Archdiocese's Lumen Verum Academy to close

BRAINTREE -- Two years after its inception, the decision has been made to close the archdiocese's Lumen Verum Academy as of June 30.

In a statement shared with The Pilot, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Carroll said the "simple reason" the school is closing is because not enough families have enrolled to make it sustainable.

Lumen Verum, "true light" in Latin, opened in 2021 offering a unique combination of online and in-person learning for students in grades six through eight, with the goal of adding one grade each year until it reached grade 12.

Students participated in online learning four days per week, with in-person activities for students and their families, such as field trips and liturgies, held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The schedule of instruction incorporated daily prayer, weekly Mass or adoration, time for homework and expert guest speakers.

Carroll said the "irony" of the academy's closure was that it had fulfilled all its initial promises, namely "strong Catholic identity, a spectacular faculty, academic rigor, the creation of a joyful learning community and the use of technology to bring students in contact with leading Catholics from around the nation and globe."

He said the "number-one barrier" to adequate enrollment growth was the parents' desire to give their children the "broader high-school experience" of a larger school setting.

"The many successes of Lumen Verum were not a sufficient counterweight to that impulse," Carroll said.

Anticipating that some might see the school's fate as part of a broader trend of Catholic schools closing, he said that Lumen Verum's closure was actually "a result of unique factors" that applied to the small-school model.

Carroll pointed out that Lumen Verum "bore many fruits" during its short tenure. Several students have been inspired to consider religious life, and the teachers inspired the creation of the St. Thomas More Teaching Fellows Program, which has drawn many new teachers from across the U.S. to work in the archdiocesan schools.

"I am forever thankful for the cardinal's support for this project, the dedication of the school's leadership and teachers, and the generosity of supporters, including the Catholic Community Fund," Carroll said.

He said they have met with parents and staff members to arrange the transition of students and faculty.