My alma mater, Nazareth HS in Brooklyn, was supposed to be closing its doors in 2012, citing poor enrollment, despite having a 99% graduation rate.

That had all changed as alumni had gotten together to save the proud institution.

However Mater Dei Prep in Middletown will not be so lucky as officials announced it will be closing its doors this June.

Will the alumni come to its rescue?

One such alum is '77 grad Brian Williams of NBC News, who said the following:

“I first read about Mater Dei’s closing on Tuesday evening, via I am heartbroken.” “It was the heart of my existence during my four happy years there, and it remains a presence in my life. I have friends who work there, and classmates who have since sent their own children to Mater Dei. My high school diploma from the Mater Dei class of ’77 is the last degree I earned.”
“This news arrived with no warning — no attempt at fund-raising by the Diocese, no indication that Mater Dei’s financial problems were fatal. I will be highly interested in any attempt to save this great Monmouth County institution.”

Such is the plight of many schools today, especially parochial schools with declining enrollment.

We read all the time about how parochial schools around the state are closing, so it should come as no surprise that Mater Dei will be closing its doors, just like my alma mater would have been had it not been for devoted grads.

A time of innocence, before cameras were found in the boys' showers!

When I went, it was an all boys school.

Since then, the school's gone co-ed, and boasts a nationally renowned girl's basketball team.

Thinking, "...dude needs to use Head and Shoulders!"

So one could understand how I'd look back with some sense of both sadness and, at the same time, pride.

But this brings up the larger question: Is your school still there? And what memories, good or bad, did you take from it?

No more stoop ball for you

Back in my old neighborhood, the house where I grew up is about to become someone else's palatial estate.

The bakery we owned is now about to become a kosher butcher.

My old high school will, someday, get torn down and make room for one of the junkyards that surround it.

For you who may have gone to Mater Dei, there's a website you can go to if you'd like to donate to save the school. Those interested in donating can do so at the website