January 13, 2014
Communications and Marketing
The Most Reverend Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, will be elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Francis in February.
After spending his freshman year of college at Saint Anselm, Archbishop Lacroix left to pursue seminary studies in Canada. In 2011, he was the college's commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary doctorate.
A native of Quebec, Archbishop Lacroix is the only North American among the 19 bishops to be elevated.
"We offer our most sincere congratulations to Archbishop Lacroix upon this momentous news," said Saint Anselm College President Steven R. DiSalvo. "As a missionary and as a leader in the Catholic Church, he is someone who serves as an example to all of us and we wish him all the very best in his work in Quebec. The Archbishop certainly has an open invitation to visit Saint Anselm at any time."
Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., Chancellor of the college and Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey, added, "We are all enormously proud that the honor of such a position of service to our Church has been bestowed upon a fellow Anselmian. In addition to his gifts of intellect, and the ability to lead and direct others, Archbishop Lacroix also has an excellent way of interacting with all types of people. I know personally that he possesses a fine sense of humor, along with a genuine interest in the hopes and dreams and concerns of all with whom he comes in contact."
While he did not graduate with his class, the archbishop has close ties with several alumni, including two administrators at his former high school, Trinity High School in Manchester. Denis Mailloux '76, Trinity's principal, and Brian Flaherty '98, campus minister, say they expected such an announcement from the Vatican.
"We always felt he would be someone the Pope would want to elevate to this position," Mailloux says.
He points to the fact that, like Pope Francis, the archbishop has focused his missionary work on the poor in Latin America. He and Flaherty attended the archbishop's installation ceremony in Quebec and went to the Vatican when he received the pallium from Pope Benedict.
Archbishop Lacroix was installed as archbishop of Quebec in 2011, after having served as auxiliary bishop since 2009. He was ordained a priest in 1988 after earning a master's degree in pastoral theology at Laval University. As a member of the Quebec-based Pius X Secular Institute, he spent a decade in Colombia doing missionary work.
Speaking at Saint Anselm College's 118th commencement ceremonies, the archbishop urged graduates to live lives guided by holiness and faithfulness.
While success is a noble goal, he said, "Faithfulness and holiness will give your life meaning and the intensity to live every day of your life fully."
"The world greatly needs your presence, your skills and the gift of who you are," he told the Class of 2011. "Learning, however, does not stop with commencement. The learning that takes place with the reality of life is just starting."
While urging graduates to listen to the word and voice of Jesus, he suggested that students should not just dream big, but establish a vision and plan for their lives: "Leave the world a better place than you found it."