Quebec's Cardinal Lacroix returns to NH
May 16, 2015
Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, the Archbishop of Quebec, returned to New Hampshire on Thursday in an effort to raise money for less fortunate children eager to receive a Catholic education.
AMHERST — “I made this very special trip, a six-hour drive from Quebec City, for an excellent cause, a cause very close to my heart — Catholic education and Trinity High School,” said Lacroix. “I am a proud Pioneer from THS 40 years ago.”
Lacroix was the guest speaker at a special fundraising dinner Thursday evening at LaBelle Winery, hosted by Trinity High School to celebrate the launch of a new Gerald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix Trinity High School Scholarship Fund.
The endowment fund will assist young men and women who may not have the finances available to attend a Catholic school by providing them with tuition costs.
“These students are deserving, and need to come here and study and get the good formation and experience of Trinity High. We need to invest in future generations,” said Lacroix.
It was a special homecoming for Lacroix, who graduated from Trinity High School in Manchester in 1975. He visited with former classmates and members of his prior parish, St. Anthony of Padua.
The French-Canadian immigrant was born in Canada, but considers Manchester his home. His parents, Raymond and Brigitte Lacroix, moved to New Hampshire from Canada when Lacroix was just 8.
“My parents made many sacrifices,” said Lacroix, adding they worked hard to be able to send him and his siblings to a private school. “A private, Catholic high school costs money. There is no funding from the government. This is not a public school, it is private. But, the values that are taught and lived there, we believe, are an experience, and are worth it,” he said.
The goal of the scholarship fund is to invest in the future of young people, encourage the continued growth of a commitment to community service, academic excellence, and faith and to support the work of Trinity High School, according to organizers.
“Our desire is to have the dream of education become a reality for all people,” said Father Andrew Nelson of Berlin.
Many families struggle to make the dream of a Catholic education a reality, according to Father John Fortin, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Manchester.
With the cost of education rising, Fortin said it is critical for the church to continue to develop ways to help provide scholarships for students.
William Sheehan, a math teacher at Trinity, echoed those sentiments.
“In Manchester we have many shades of students ... and unfortunately, the only color that matters is green,” said Sheehan. “It is the church’s responsibility to serve everyone and help everyone with their education — especially those who are in need.”
Sheehan praised Lacroix for his continuous support of Trinity High School, and for his renewed efforts to help children obtain a Catholic education.
“He is such a humble man who really loves life,” Sheehan said of the Cardinal. Lacroix is in charge of the Archdiocese of Quebec, which consists of 200 parishes and more than one million Catholics, he said.
“The most rewarding part is to be able to spread the good news of the Gospel — it is to preach and bring people to encounter Jesus Christ because he is the one who brings joy and peace in your heart,” said Lacroix.