Decree - Suppression of Dukette Elementary School



Divina Miseratione et Apostolicæ Sedis Gratia



Suppression of Father Norman DuKette Elementary School in Flint, Michigan


Father Norman DuKette Elementary School in Flint, Michigan, located on the property of Saint Agnes Parish, Flint, Michigan, was established as a Diocesan School to serve students and families on the north side of Flint, Michigan since 1980. During that time, many students have been formed and benefited from the Catholic based education. Faculty, staff and parents have exhibited an extraordinary commitment to the educational mission of DuKette Elementary School.

Now, in an effort to ensure the vitality of the educational mission on the north – northwest side of Flint, with concern for the best stewardship of resources and the right of the people of God to receive assistance from the Church, it is necessary to begin a new chapter of the Church’s educational presence on the north-northwest side of Flint (cf. canons 793-795).

To that end, having invited parishes, schools and institutions to make known their needs and desires, having received the recommendations of the Diocesan Coordinating Commission: Planning Tomorrow’s Churches, under the careful direction of the Office of Pastoral Planning, which reviewed the recommendations of the parishes, schools and institutions involved and the Genesee-Owosso Regional report, and having consulted the Presbyteral Council, and having listened to the College of Consultors, the Council of Vicars, and the Superintendent of Schools, and having received reports from the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Diocesan Finance Council, and in accord with canons 120, §1 and canon 123 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, I, the undersigned, in virtue of my authority as Bishop of Lansing, hereby decree the following:

  1. The closure of Father DuKette Elementary School in Flint, Michigan, a Public Juridic Person of the Diocese of Lansing, which will result in the suppression of its juridic personality. The closure shall take effect at midnight at the end of Friday, August 1, 2008.
  2. Students who will be affected by the closing of DuKette Elementary School are hereby invited to attend Saint John Vianney School, Flint, Michigan. By means of a financial scholarship, the Diocese of Lansing will assist the children currently enrolled in K-7 (2007-2008) continue their Catholic Education with some diocesan subsidy while they remain in any parish grade school.

The new configuration holds great promise for a strengthened and renewed educational mission in Flint. Mindful that Father DuKette School has served the Catholic education mission in north Flint, those who have benefited from DuKette School and I are grateful for those who have so willingly dedicated themselves to this important endeavor.

This decision is based upon a number of factors, among which are: the decline in the student enrollment, the desire to streamline the educational mission of the Diocese, and the increasing expenses associated with necessary repairs and maintenance to aging structures. In light of the challenge of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, this decision is taken to strengthen “the proclamation of Christ to reach people, mould communities, and have a deep and incisive influence in bringing Gospel values to bear in society and culture.” (n. 29)

Before Friday, August 29, 2008, all DuKette School records and historical documents are to be forwarded to the Diocesan Archives where they will be faithfully preserved and maintained. According to the norm of canon 123, all assets and liabilities, whether movable or immovable, of Father DuKette School, will become the assets and liabilities of the Diocese of Lansing. Furthermore, ownership of all ecclesiastical goods and all objects of artistic or historical value belonging to Father DuKette School will be transferred to the Diocese of Lansing and will be administered in accordance with the prescriptions of Church law.

The effect of the suppression of Father DuKette School is the termination of the juridic personality of the former Father DuKette School. Thus, it will no longer be a subject of obligations and rights in canon law corresponding to its nature as a juridic person, nor will it be capable of acquiring, retaining, administering, or alienating temporal goods according to the norm of law.

I direct that this decree be given to the principal of Father DuKette School, and that its contents, especially the dispositive part of this decree, along with the “Process to Initiate Recourse against an Administrative Decree” be notified by an appropriate means to parents of students affected by the contents of this Decree by the end of Monday, July 21, 2008. I further direct that this decree be published on the website of the Diocese of Lansing ( which will be presumed the official notification of this action.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given at the Curia of the Diocese of Lansing on this the 8th day of July, in the year of our Lord, 2008.