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||F.J. Madary, Jr.
||New Orleans, Louisiana
|St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, 5500 Paris Avenue
||The neighborhoods surrounding the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church suffered catastrophic damage when the levee walls failed after the area was hit by Hurricane Katrina. These neighborhoods are in dire straits and are in desperate need of help in order to recover from the effects of the levee failures.
Holy Cross School can and is willing to provide this help by moving their campus to the Cabrini/Redeemer-Seton site in Gentilly. Their plans for develpoment of the site do not include use of the church. Because of the church's size and configuration, the damage inflicted by the flood and the extremely high cost of maintenance, Holy Cross is unable to include the church in its development plans.
I would like to see Holy Cross be allowed to demolish the church. As part of their development plans they could construct a monument or memorial in order to mitigate any adverse effects which the demolition may cause. The memorial could honor the church structure itself and any architectural or historic significance the church may have, the people who were involved with the early development of the church and the people of the parish and the surrounding neighborhoods who lost their lives as a result of the flood.
If Holy Cross is not allowed to demolish the church and decides not to relocate to the Cabrini/Redeemer-Seton site, everybody loses. The people who wish the church to remain will lose since the church will continue to deterioate in the middle of a blighted and largely deserted neighborhood; the neighborhood will lose since there will be no anchor around which the neighborhood can rally to recover and people can return to rebuild, and the parish will lose since there will be no parishoners to populate the parish. I fear that that part of New Orleans may not recover if Holy Cross does not build there. For a neighborhood in New Orleans to rebuild and survive there is nothing more important than having a school to anchor the recovery and help the area come back. And Holy Cross is providing such an opportunity to this devastated part of the Crescent City.
I believe that it is essential for the survival of these neighborhoods that Holy Cross be permitted to demolish the church while establishing a memorial to mitigate any adverse effects the demolition may cause.
This will benefit all parties concerned and will be an immense help in the redevelopment and recovery of the neighborhoods surrounding the Cabrini site as well as the entire city of New Orleans.
Thank you for your consideration.
F.J. Madary, Jr.
Owner of 5378 Chatham Drive
New Orleans, Louisiana