Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


‘Camelot’ Highlights 20 Years Of Outreach Program

Published January 22, 2004

Friends of St. Martin de Porres, an outreach program of Holy Cross Catholic Church, has reached a milestone.

This February the group will mark its 20th year of feeding the community by entertaining the community.

The group will present “Camelot,” with performances on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13-14, and on Friday through Sunday, Feb. 20-22.

The group began with the vision of the late Bunny Bohacyzk. Bohacyzk was widowed early and was left to raise five children in Boston. She experienced the chill of the thin coat in the harsh New England winters, the worry of the empty pantry and the humiliation of grudging charity to her and her children. For many years, she lived from hand to mouth and nurtured resentment and anger at God for having taken away her beloved husband Frank, leaving her alone. Then she moved to Atlanta, found Holy Cross and her mission in life.

The Dominican priests who served Holy Cross at that time were from the Louisiana Province, whose patron saint was St. Martin de Porres, the first black saint canonized by the church.

St. Martin was a nobleman who turned from a life of wealth and privilege to serve the poor and sick of Lima, Peru. Bohacyzk felt he would be an excellent model for the work she felt compelled to do. With the encouragement and support of the Dominicans, she set up shop in an unheated, leaky shed on the back parking lot at Holy Cross and dispensed donated clothing and food to an ever-increasing crowd of people down on their luck.

“Bunny” was an unlikely nickname for a larger-than-life woman with an enormous laugh, but her nickname identified her immediately to the people she cajoled, begged and importuned for money for food, to pay a pharmacy bill for a sick child, or for warmer clothing for a family.

“You just can’t say ‘no’ to Bunny” was the exasperated response to a phone call asking: “Do you happen to have an extra coat?” for someone with none.

But individual phoning and begging could not keep up with the huge number of people who continued to appear at the shed where Bunny and her “band” dispensed food and those “extra” coats. And then, the Rooney-Garland solution came into being.

The original “Street People” shows were a mad homemade mix of vocalists, tap dancers, skits, gymnastics, puppetry—anyone who showed up could perform, even at the last moment, when the show was already in progress, and there usually were only one or two performances.

Over the past 12 years, the shows chosen have become the more sophisticated “book shows” including a highly technical “Wizard of Oz.” Audiences say that the performances rival that of professional theater.

The vision and the objectives have remained the same as when Bohacyzk was in charge: All proceeds raised go to support the work of St. Martin with the homeless and needy of the Atlanta area.

This work now includes providing and serving a hot meal lunch at the Atlanta Union Mission twice a month. No money is kept aside to underwrite the next show; each year the group again steps out in faith.

They believe that’s the way Bunny (and St. Martin) would want it.

“Camelot” is based on T. H. White’s “The Once and Future King,” with music by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. The performances will be held in the parish hall at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 3175 Hathaway Court, NE.

Dinner shows will be held on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14, with dinner at 7 p.m. and the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets for the Friday show are $30 per person. Saturday’s show will feature a buffet, and tickets are $20 per person. Tickets must be bought in advance to these two shows.

On Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, the shows will begin at 8 p.m. There will be a matinee show on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. Tickets for these shows are $10 a person and $5 for children under 12.

Tickets are being sold at Holy Cross after the 5:30 p.m. vigil Mass on Saturdays and after the 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Masses on Sundays.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Sara Grummer-Strawn at (770) 414-1695 or Nancy Towhey at (770) 717-1102. Towhey can also be reached by e-mail at

For additional information, call Holy Cross Church at (770) 939-3501.