By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff writer | Published August 28, 2014
Holy Cross Church in Atlanta celebrates its golden anniversary this year — 50 years of reaching out to the community.
One of the unique ministries at Holy Cross is its theater program, started formally five years ago. The theater productions began as a way to fund the parish’s Friends of St. Martin de Porres ministry to feed the poor.
The official ministry has its roots in variety shows written by parishioners dating back 30 years. Now presenting full-blown performances of Broadway musicals, “The Street People’s Show” will mark 31 years in 2015 with a production of “Footloose.”
First started by Ruth “Bunny” Bohaczyk, the theater ministry is now coordinated by Gail Goodman, music minister. Goodman says the parish’s summer drama camp had 40 teens participating this year. The camp culminated in the production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.”
Goodman says the ministry reaches out to not only youth but all ages, as well as musicians from other churches. “We’ve had children as young as four and five, and senior citizens in their sixties and seventies involved … and everyone in between,” she said.
The summer youth shows are geared toward the teens and tweens of the parish, those who are too old to attend vacation bible school. “It seemed like a good idea to give the high schoolers and middle school youth somewhere to be and something positive to do in July,” said Goodman. “It has been successful beyond our dreams!”
Goodman, baptized as an adult at Holy Cross, now lends a hand as a director to the theater ministry at St. Thomas More Church in Decatur. The St. Thomas More Players are rehearsing for “Bye Bye Birdie” running Sept. 12-21.
Goodman and her husband, Bruce, have been active in theater within Holy Cross for 22 years. He helped with shows before even becoming a Catholic six years ago. “I believe it was this reaching out to him by previous and present pastors and fellow parishioners who welcomed him unconditionally by getting him involved in the ministry there that eventually called him to join the church,” said Goodman.
Read more about the 50th anniversary of Holy Cross Church in the Aug. 21 edition of The Georgia Bulletin or online at georgiabulletin.org.