MANCHESTER — Gerald Lacroix, the one-time Manchester parochial schoolboy who grew up to be a Catholic Church cardinal, visits his family home this weekend, with festivities planned at his home parish, Trinity High School and St. Joseph Cathedral.
Lacroix is expected to lead a Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church at 4 p.m. Saturday, which will be followed by a $25-per-person reception and buffet dinner at his high school alma mater, Trinity High School.
Lacroix, who left Manchester and eventually became archbishop of Quebec, was elevated as cardinal last month by Pope Francis. His visit to Manchester, where his parents still live, is the first since his installation.
“For us as the neighborhood church, this is the Super Bowl, and everyone’s at the 50-yard line,” said the Rev. Richard Dion, pastor of St. Anthony.
Church volunteers are polishing the pews, waxing the floor and setting up chairs to accommodate nearly 800 people. And a shelf is under construction next to a side altar, which will hold a photograph of Lacroix and a cardinal’s red beret.
“This is his home, where you hang your hat,” Dion said.
The Trinity reception will include remarks by Lacroix classmate Ovide Lamontagne, Mayor Ted Gatsas, Manchester Bishop Peter Libasci and a representative of the mayor of Quebec City.
Lacroix is scheduled to celebrate Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the cathedral. Dion said parts of the Saturday Mass will be in French, to celebrate Lacroix’s French-Canadian heritage.