NORTH HAVEN — A local convent wants to relocate its preschool so it can continue the program after the sponsoring church pulled support.
The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Francis Convent ran St. Frances Cabrini Daycare and Preschool Learning Center on Chapel Hill Road for more than 35 years.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish announced the preschool’s closure in April, part of consolidating its early childhood education programs. The parish consists of the former St. Barnabas, St. Frances Cabrini and St. Therese churches.
Vern Carlson, Planning and Zoning Commission chairman, said the Sisters are applying to move preschool operations from 90 Chapel Hill Road next door to 94 Chapel Hill Road, where the nuns live currently.
The commission is slated to discuss the application at its Aug. 6 meeting, at 7 p.m. in the Mildred Wakeley Recreation Center.
Representatives from the St. Elizabeth parish and the Archdiocese of Hartford declined to comment on the situation. The Sisters did not answer requests for comment.
Maria Zone, Archdiocese spokesperson, said Monday closing the daycare was not an Archdiocesan decision.
In a flyer included in a church bulletin, the church stated that “the very low enrollment at St. Frances in this current year is no longer viable to sustain the existing program.”
The St. Elizabeth parish also runs St. Therese Pre-K School.
In the flyer, the church extolled the St. Therese program, stating it is a structured kindergarten readiness program with curriculum approved by the State of Connecticut and the Archdiocese.
Ron Mele, a daycare parent, said via Facebook he was “very sad” about the decision.
“We really just want the Archdiocese to let the Sisters continue to teach on their own and still be welcome in the Archdiocese,” he said.
According to town property records, the Sisters purchased the property at 94 Chapel Hill Road, their living quarters, in 1982.
In 1988, St. Frances Cabrini Church purchased 90 Chapel Hill Road, where the daycare operated until April. The St. Elizabeth parish owns the property currently.
The house at 94 Chapel Hill Road is a raised ranch with six bedrooms and four bathrooms. The property features an in-ground pool.