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Cardinal announces school closures, mergers in Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (CNS) -- In a major restructuring, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced Oct. 29 that 14 elementary schools would be closed or merged at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. "This restructuring is the result of our ongoing efforts to strengthen and support sustainable Catholic schools over the long term," said Thomas McGrath, chief operating officer for Catholic schools. "Although difficult in the immediate term, we know taking these steps will increase access for families and students to excellent Catholic school education, now and in the future."

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Singing friar says Franciscan message of simplicity appeals to children

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- One would think that a Franciscan friar committed to a vow of poverty would not need a lesson in simplicity. But that was exactly what Brother Alessandro Brustenghi, an international recording artist, said he received when he came to Baltimore to sing with "Francis in the Schools," a California-based, nonsectarian program devoted to sharing the message and ideals of St. Francis of Assisi with city children.

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