A Little Boy, a Wish, and a School Closing

Matt Archbold has an incredible story about faith and community at the National Catholic Register today called “How a Little Boy Saved a Catholic School.” You need to go read the whole thing, but first, here’s an excerpt:

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has closed down a lot of Catholic schools recently including the elementary school my five children attend. But we’re far from alone.

I was searching around the internet about all the different school closings when I came upon news that St. Cyril’s school in Lansdowne which had been reccomended for closure by the archdiocesan Blue Ribbon commission was now remaining open as a mission school.

I saw the news and couldn’t help but smile.

Why? Because there’s a story behind the news story. And it’s a great one. It happened just a few years ago. If you put this story in a movie nobody would believe it. Too corny, they’d say. Waaaay too Frank Capra. This is a story about community. The kind of community that many didn’t think still existed in America; the kind that still believed in wishes and miracles. But mostly this is a story about a little boy who refused to give up on a miracle. When told it was impossible he believed the way only 12 year olds can.

This is a story about Tommy Geromichalos. Six years ago, Tommy was a 12 year old boy from Philadelphia with a wish. Tommy has a serious form of cystic fibrosis. So when the Make-A-Wish Foundation asked him what he wished for he gave an answer they didn’t expect. His sister who also had C.F. had wished to meet Celine Dion.

Tommy didn’t want to meet a celebrity. He didn’t want to play basketball against an NBA hero. His wish was simple: Save my School. You see, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was closing Tommy’s elementary school because much of the Catholic population had moved into the suburbs and the urban neighborhood just couldn’t support the school anymore.

Read the whole story.

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