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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: Jonelle Foltz
City: Gonzales, LA (temp - formerly N.O. East)
St. Frances Cabrini Church, 5500 Paris Ave., New Orleans, LA 70122
Comments: As an active member of St. Frances Cabrini Church Parish since 1986 and a graduate of St. Joseph Academy ('71) who frequently used St. Frances Cabrini Church for special Masses during my high school years (that building became Redeemer-Seton High School in 1980), I have many, many wonderful memories and strong feelings concerning all which we all have faced following Hurricane Katrina.

Three of my five children were baptized at Cabrini and were laid on the beautiful marble altar which graced this holy edifice as they entered the holy, Catholic Church in this archdiocese. All of my children attended St. Frances Cabrini School, as did my husband Michael, and received their First Reconciliation and Communion within the walls of this now deconsecrated building (as of September 2006). Three of my five were confirmed there and, most recently, our marriage vows were renewed in a special celebration in 2002. My beloved choir members with whom I sang the praises of the Lord Jesus, and so many more of our parish family who are dear to me and for whom I sang as they renewed vows or laid loved ones to rest, were scattered to the four winds by the angry wind and water that was Katrina.

All of the precious memories of this church family (the people of St. Frances Cabrini) are still with me and always will be. WE ARE THE CHURCH - not the building. I grieve with you who do not see the reason and wisdom of the greater good that will come from Holy Cross High School creating a new beginning at our parish site.

I am saddened by the latest developments - this building IS NOT of historic significance. Yes, within its walls many precious family times occurred, precious to us alone. It is these that we hold dear. Those memories will always be with us. The building in which we celebrated is not beloved, but we to each other. Now we must move forward and allow Holy Cross to write the next chapter in this area's history - for the good of the area and for the good of our city. So many lives are affected - please let go and let God - for your own sakes and for the sakes of so many young faces who will revitalize a now-dried-up, stagnant pool of wasteland.

After a much-publicized town hall meeting of St. Frances Cabrini parishioners, which occurred in July 2006, at which we listened to presentations by several archdiocesan officials and representatives of Holy Cross High School (for whose time we are very grateful), our church community voted unanimously to allow Holy Cross to come to this site and build here. And as you can see from comments taken thus far - not only from this number, but also from so many Gentilly area residents who are trying to recover, and from current and alum families of Holy Cross - the majority have expressed their wish for the demolition St. Frances Cabrini and Redeemer-Seton buildings and the building of the new Holy Cross High School to go forward as planned.

Though it may have received architectural awards, our pre-Katrina parish family struggled to pay for the maintenance of St. Frances Cabrini Church. I believe that all would agree that, sentimentality aside, it would be cost-effectively impossible to restore and/or maintain the church with the current population in the area. Only good can come from Holy Cross joining the Gentilly community within the City of New Orleans. Please release the funds needed for Holy Cross to go forward, for the children, and so that, God-willing, our church community can begin to heal.