Jesuit High president stepping down after ALS diagnosis
Dave Cohen Reporting
The president of Jesuit High School in New Orleans has announced he has ALS and is stepping down at the end of the academic year.
He made the announcement today and sent a letter to students, parents and alumni.
"I have been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease," Rev. Raymond Fitzgerald said. "ALS is the abbreviation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological disorder that causes muscles to weaken and atrophy."
He noted that many in New Orleans may know about the disease from the recent battle former Saints player has been fighting with ALS.
"This disease is both progressive and incurable. Fortunately, cognitive functions remain unimpaired by ALS."
Fitzgerald says he will finish out the current term.
"I intend to step down after the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year," he explained. "this disease and its effects will adversely impact my ability to exercise the office of president."
Father Anthony McGinn will serve as president during the search for a replacement.
"Fr. McGinn is my immediate predecessor and certainly no stranger to Jesuit," Fitzgerald noted.
Fitzgerald also took time to reflect in the letter.
"A reality that has become clearer to me during this experience is that we are always able to pray for one another. Let us then ask that we be given the grace each day to do our duty before God, for this duty is our task for today. The future remains in the hands of God, with Whom the best is always yet to come. I thus commend myself to your particular prayers at this time and assure you of mine."