U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor returned to her alma mater Blessed Sacrament School in the Bronx to lament its closing, with apparent concern for the secular benefits of Catholic schooling, according to The New York Times.
Sotomayor has described herself as a “lapsed Catholic” and is believed to be “pro-choice” on abortion, but she reportedly told fourth-grade boys and girls, “I’m really upset. It’s hard to say goodbye.”
The justice reportedly expressed concern that Catholic school closings mean a loss of security and opportunity for professional success for pupils in inner cities. She also regrets the potential loss of “faith” among children — referring to trust in their elders:
“The worst thing is, these kids could lose their faith in the adults around them,” she said in an interview inside her old fifth-grade classroom. “Children need to feel secure. This makes it worse. These kids are going to carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives.”
…“The Catholic schools have been a pipeline to opportunity for generations,” said Justice Sotomayor, who was raised by her mother after her father, an alcoholic, died. “It gave people like me the chance to be successful. It provided me and my brother with an incredible environment of security. Not every school provides that.”
The Times reports that 56 Catholic schools have closed in the Archdiocese of New York since 2011, with 219 remaining.