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FEMA Section 106 Notices for Louisiana
Comment on "Public Notice Regarding Historic Review of the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, 5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana with linked PDF attachments "
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Name: Jon O. Noble
City: Washington, D.C.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, 5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans
Comments: As a 1995 Holy Cross graduate, I'll proudly say that Holy Cross is a historically vital part of the city. When Katrina hit, my initial concern was for my family in New Orleans... not only those related by blood, but those in the Holy Cross Family. Reading the forums that grew in the aftermath, with people keeping in touch with each other and helping each other out, the value of this community -- this family -- which has grown not just from the stones of the Administration building, the Victory Bell, and the Gazebo, but the classrooms, the social activities, and School Code, has shown itself to be unsurpassed.

I continue to this day make frends in the HC family from the most random unlikely places. I will admit that the idea of moving the school at all breaks my heart, as I have driven across the river to at least pass by the school (if it wasn't open) on EVERY visit to the city since I left 12 years ago. Last year, one of these friends asked if I still knew the Alma Mater, the Fight Song, and the Holy Cross Man. To our mutual surprise, I did. This school is a part of the people whose lives it has touched; this isn't someting most people in the country can realize or understand about a high school, but it's very real.

Those who are not from New Orleans, and who have not experienced Katrina or its aftermath have little place writing to keep the church from being torn down. I will admit to having an attachment to the bricks and mortar of Holy Cross, but I can also see the need for survival of the people and the spirit over anything. if you have never been to the Cabrini church, then what value can it possibly have for you? Parishoners and neighbors agree: it must be removed for the life of the community.

Community... that is what matters. Who would honestly think to fight for this doomed building, given what waits to replace it? If your cause is for Christianity, do not allow yourself to be misguided in your fight. God does not reside in the bricks of a building. God resides in the community. Preventing the removal of this building is advocating the death of communities... the school and the neighborhood. The Holy Cross Family will continue, no matter what. The decision of the board on this matter will determine whther or not the church will be a beacon of regrowth for the neighborhood, giving a location into which this great Family can move, or it can be a festoring sore, lending to the misery that is all too familiar post Katrina.

I am certain that I will always visit the site that still is the Holy Cross School whenever I go home to New Orleans. But those are my memories; allow the Family to continue to create its own.