Since the establishment of Trenton Catholic Academy in Hamilton more than 15 years ago, the Diocese of Trenton has provided substantial support to make this Catholic educational experience available to students who live in and around the wider Trenton area. However, the growing cost of providing this experience has consistently outpaced tuition and other revenue, requiring diocesan subsidy of more than $20 million over the last 12 years. No other school in the Diocese of Trenton has received such substantial support.
Due to these chronic difficulties, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., accepted the recommendation made by TCA leadership that the school must close this June. The Diocese announced the decision Jan. 8, 2021 and has since been assisting the school in winding down operations at the end of the school year.
Shortly after the announcement, the Diocese was approached by a group interested in establishing an independent Catholic school replacing TCA. Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy, the new school, would continue the mission of providing a Catholic educational experience for the students who currently make up the TCA community, as well as others in the area who might consider enrolling.
After several meetings with representatives of this group, the Diocese has indicated its conceptual support of the proposal to open an independent Catholic school where TCA is now located, but distinctly autonomous from the Diocese, financially and otherwise. Diocesan officials have extended a lease agreement for the school facility that is significantly below market value. The school will be required to meet all terms of the agreement and is solely responsible for all financial obligations it incurs. The school will also be required to commit to adherence of Catholic doctrine and provide a Christ-centered environment in which students may learn.
Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy is a New Jersey, not for profit corporation. The group aims to open Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy for September 2021 pending final approvals.
Applications are currently being accepted for grants to be awarded from the fund named after Bishop George W. Ahr, the seventh bishop of Trenton.
Grants are available to parish organizations, apostolates or ministries within the Diocese of Trenton that provide services for vulnerable and/or poor families. Approximately $10,000 in grant money is available for distribution.
In 2020, 11 agencies were named grant recipients; among them were Visitation Community Lunch, Brick, the Mercer County CYO, and St. Vincent de Paul Societies in Burlington, Tabernacle, Cinnaminson, Monmouth Beach and Lakewood.
Applications may be obtained by contacting Grace Magee at the diocesan Chancery at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: Diocese of Trenton, P.O. Box 5147, Trenton, NJ 08638, Attn: Grace Magee. All completed applications must be postmarked no later than June 4, 2021.