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||Sister Jane Aucoin, csj (formerly Sister Aloysius)
||Baton Rouge, LA
|St. Frances Cabrini Church, 5500 Parish Ave., New Orleans 70122
||My roots in St. Frances Cabrini Parish are deep and strong. I had the privilege of serving as principal of the school when it opened in 1953. Later, in the 60's I served as principal of St. Joseph Academy, which later became Redeemer Seton High School. When the temporary quonset hut church burned, the permanent church was under construction, and SJA welcomed the parish for Sunday Mass in the school's gym. What a glorious day it was when the permanent church was dedicated! It had been beautifully designed to facilitate all the liturgical changes inaugurated by Vatican Council II.
Now, hurricane Katrina has forced us all to examine the future of that Church. I welcome Holy Cross College's plans to relocate on the campus of both these schools. I believe its presence in this neighborhood will be a wonderful asset, drawing folks to build and develop, as we once did in the late 40's and 50's. I urge supporters of Holy Cross and those who would preserve the Church to continue serious dialog, to carefully listen to each other in order to search for a "win-win" solution, if one can be found.
Yet, as things stand now, I believe that the future of the neighborhood will be better served by Holy Cross College, even if that means we must say goodbye to a beloved church building. After all, the cherished memories we have of days gone by will outlast the bricks and stained glass of the church, as will those of the Sisters' "big convent" on Mirabeau Avenue.