A much beloved former Montauk priest was installed in Manchester, NH on Thursday afternoon before a large crowd, some of whom came from his former parish.
Nearly 1,000 people jammed the sanctuary of St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Manchester to witness the installation of Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci, who officially became the 10th Catholic Bishop of the Manchester Diocese on Dec. 8.
Libasci, who left in Montauk a few years ago, spoke casually before delivering his first homily – acknowledging those he left behind at his former outpost in Long Island, and getting a few laughs in the process.
"To all of our civic leaders and all gathered here at this church, and all of you following this liturgy on television here in New England and on Long Island as well, because I told them they couldn't come – they had to let you have the seats here. Very happily they all are able to watch on television, and I mean that most sincerely, wearing the cufflinks they gave me – and there's the proof," Libasci said flashing the jewelry on his sleeve to cameras on both sides of the sanctuary.
Libasci previously served as Auxiliary Bishop for the Eastern Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He will oversee all 90-plus Catholic parishes within New Hampshire.
Standing outside the church was Dan Bostrom of Montauk, New York, whose wife Lynda was inside, one of those who got a ticket to attend the installation ceremony.
"He's a wonderful man. I think everyone up here will come to love him," Bostrom said. "He's a sweet man and a very real person. He was instrumental in helping us build our church. He's truly a unifier."