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The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute
The Rev. Brice Higgenbotham conducts the Mass at Lawrence Park during the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival

Holy Cross takes message to the street

Holy Cross Church is hosting the Feast of the Holy Cross on Sunday. The event will begin with a 10:30 a.m. mass led by the Rev. Brice Higgenbotham, administrator of Holy Cross Church.
After Mass, there will be a procession with a piece of the cross beginning on Cedar Street and going around the block surrounding the church.
“We are going to ask God’s blessing upon the parish, upon Central Catholic School, which is here on this campus, upon our neighborhood, upon the whole community and the whole city of Morgan City,” Higgenbotham said.
Following the procession will be a gathering for all in attendance with food and kid’s activities on the grounds surrounding Holy Cross Church and Central Catholic schools.
“We are inviting anybody to come, whether you are Catholic or not, whether you are Christian or not, everyone is welcome,” Higgenbotham said.
The Feast of the Holy Cross is a day that Holy Cross church has celebrated before, but this is “the first time we are going outside into the streets. It’s the first time we will go and have a procession taking the gospel out into the streets and try to be with people and meet people and have a party and the fun like this,” Higgenbotham said.
The new approach to this celebration is not the only new idea Higgenbotham has brought with him to Holy Cross Church and its parishioners.
Higgenbotham, 29, started at Holy Cross Church as administrator July 1.
Higgenbotham has his own daily podcast where he explains things that people are curious about in Christian beliefs.
He also uses social media as well as YouTube to reach out and teach different religious subject matters and communicate with the members of the church and community.
“If you are an older person and you get reached through print media, then we are using print media like in the bulletin and the newspaper and things like that,” Higginbotham said. “If you are a young person who does podcasts, or YouTube, or Facebook, Instagram, we’re doing that.
“Whatever it takes or however we can to reach out and try to just offer people a relationship that has brought joy to us.”
The idea of change directed to youth within the church extends to Holy Cross’s catechism program, which will now be called Youth Formation.
“About four or five years, ago Bishop [Shelton] Fabre asked us to do a strategic plan for this whole diocese. He started by just asking people what do we need to improve, and people said a few things, people said we need to be able to explain the faith as adults, and people said over and over and over again we need to be able to better reach our youth,” Higgenbotham said.
“Teenagers, middle schoolers, kids … they are in school all day. They have no desire to come to church and go back to class,” Higgenbotham said.
The new idea is for students attending catechism to be able to learn from an adult what Higgenbotham called “the art of living.”
“We want to walk with the kids in a more personable way,” Higgenbotham said. “We definitely want the kids to get all the knowledge they need, but in more fun way that they better relate to and build relationships with.”

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