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||Claire GONZALES SIMON
||Massy, FRANCE (a suburb of Paris)
|St Frances Cabrini Church
||In response to the article in the Times-Picayune:
I am a seventh-generation New Orleanian who, at the age of 31 years old, CHOSE to leave the city to marry a Frenchman and live in France.
I was born a raised around the corner from Cabrini, attended Cabrini grammar school and then went on to St. Joseph Academy which in my senior year became Redeemer -- then later on, Redeemer-Seton.
I was one of the first three babies baptized in Cabrini church in the Spring 1963 (early May). All of our family ceremonies, including my father's funeral, were celebrated at Cabrini.
I suppose you can say that the St. Frances Cabrini Church is as much a part of me as is my childhood home at 1421 Athis Street, where my mother was still living up until Katrina.
I live in France where the culture is world-renown for aesthetic beauty. I have studied art and architecture. I consider myself an educated, adapted individual.
I would in NO WAY block the possiblity of Holy Cross moving into the area with the idea that they MUST keep the church.
Architecturally significant, yes, but if it keeps an entire area or even part of that area from "coming back," I say tear it down!
After Katrina, my entire family was displaced (I am the only one abroad). We're talking about nearly 45 hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool New Orleanians. We're talking about the people who will stay or return to rebuild the city. Without Holy Cross, that area may not ever comeback.
If an historic, architectural issue has become an obstacle to improving lives in the present, TEAR IT DOWN and let the people of New Orleans get on with living. If not, find the architectural societies across the world to come up with the money to allow Holy Cross to keep, restore and maintain the building. As I said, I was baptized there in 1963 and as my mother says, "that architecturally significant" roof started leaking about two years later and hasn't stopped since!"
God bless the people of New Orleans and those who faciilitate its comeback.
Claire GONZALES SIMON