Seton Keough celebrates final commencement

Posted at 11:58 AM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 17:32:10-04

In the past week, Archbishop Keough High School has been in the spotlight, not because after 52 years the school is closing, but because the Netflix series “The Keepers” has uncovered some of the school’s darkest secrets.

The series has raised questions about the disappearance and murder of one of the school’s nuns, Sister Cathy and what, if any, involvement the school’s chaplain Father Joseph Maskell might have had. It also puts Father Maskell under the microscope, revisiting a 1994 lawsuit that alleges Father Maskell sexually abused two students at Keough.

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Friday was the school’s final commencement.

Archbishop Keough High School was founded in 1965 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, amid growing enrollment at Baltimore’s Catholic high schools. At the time, it was the archdiocese’s state-of-the-art building with modern science, math and language labs.

In the 1980s, Catholic high school enrollment began to decrease. The boards of both Archbishop Keough and Seton High School decided to merge. On June 15, 1988 after a year of joint planning, Seton moved from North Charles Street to Caton Avenue. The school became Seton Keough High School.

The high school can accommodate 1,200 students, but enrollment this year was just 186. According to a release from the archdiocese in October 2016, the school had been experiencing a steady decline in enrollment and it “simply could not continue operating with such few students.”

See also: Who killed Sister Cathy

Friday morning, the class of 2017 filled the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore to receive the last Seton Keough diplomas. On what should be a day of celebration for the seniors and fond memories for alumnae, one can only imagine it’s bittersweet.

“The Keepers” has uncovered a history of Archbishop Keough that the community was either unaware of or tried to forget. The allegations of sexual abuse within the school and the victims who claim Father Maskell was at the forefront seem to continue to grow. Sister Cathy’s murder has been cold for nearly 50 years and the questions still outnumber the answers.

Seton Keough’s history book will end with 2017, but you have to wonder if the history is tainted by the Maskell chapters, and the plot holes that remain.