All Podcast EpisodesCatholic Education

18. Kolbe Academy

Published: June 23, 2019

Kolbe Academy will open in the fall of 2019 as the nation’s first Catholic high school for students battling addiction. The Diocese of Allentown announced the opening of Kolbe Academy on September 7, 2018, at a press conference at St. Francis Center for Renewal, Monocacy Manor, Bethlehem. In this episode, Jim Friend interviews Bishop Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown, Dr. Brooke Tesche, Chancellor of Education, and John Petruzzelli, the principal of Kolbe Academy.

The school is the brainchild of Dr. Tesche, who proposed the idea to Bishop Schlert. “Our goal is to do whatever it takes to give them the services they need,” said Tesche. “They need to learn how to live without drugs and alcohol in their lives. Faith is the critical element for their success. A key element in recovering is ‘surrendering.’ We can talk about it and explore it in a Catholic high school,” she said.

Update June 2023: Kolbe Academy closed this year due to challenges with enrollment. We believe this does not undermine the good work accomplished by the faculty and staff on behalf of the students they served. We wish them well and thank them for serving these young people.

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