DHS Seal - FEMA    
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: Stephen Verderber
City: New Orleans
St. Frances X. Cabrini Church
Comments: It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to reduce this issue to an either/or option. Compromise is the only logical answer. The Friends of St. Frances X. Cabrini Church have demonstrated already that there is no reason why Holy Cross and the church cannot co-exist on the same 20 acre site. The church occupies only 2 acres--repeat, 2 acres--of the total parcel HC has targeted for its campus. This includes the closing of a one block stretch of one street. The Friends group from the start has welcomed HC into Gentilly. This is not a point of debate--it remains a fact. Just before the holidays members of The Friends of SFC group met privately with representatives of the HC board to present our site plan which clearly illustrates how the church and the school can co-exist side by side on the same campus. In fact, the site plan presented that night provided space for 30 additional cars than the initial HC site plan that was published in the Clarion Herald this past October.

When they actually studied the proposed alternate site plan that evening, they were unable to voice any direct counterarguments to its content or intent. In point of fact, this alternate site plan clearly accommodated the complete HC campus, including space for the football and baseball fields. Its many virtues were cited by The Friends group, i.e. "Is it not a fact that upper school and college campuses around the US boast a blend of new and old architecture?" "Would it not be feasible for HC to use the church for various functions?" "Is it a bad idea for a civic landmark church listed on the National Register of Historic Places to be adjacent to a Catholic school?" "Would this have a detrimental impact on the students somehow?" and so on.

That night, HC had no strong comeback rebuttals to these questions.

For HC it all comes down to money at this point. This fact they made abundantly clear. In response, The Friends of SFC indicated that night that a plan is being developed for the church to be financialy self-sustaining in perpetuity. This plan is in the works as we speak. Therefore, saving the church AND HC for Gentilly and all New Orleans is 100% possible, and is absolutely a win-win situation.

it is sad but true that the Archdiocese, HC and the media have spun the facts in such a way as to only agitate and provoke returning residents of the surrounding neighborhoods to be intolerant and blinded. Please fight to SAVE CABRINI for it symbolizes the rebirth of New Orleans, no less so than a new HC campus in Gentilly. COMPROMISE is sensible and 100% feasible.