METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - It was an emotional homecoming for those at St. Catherine of Siena when Congressman Steve Scalise showed up to the annual parish fair.
Dozens donned "Scalise Strong" T-shirts for this year's fair, as friends and strangers alike welcomed Scalise back to St. Catherine of Siena.
"Thank all of you. I can't thank you all enough, especially for your prayers," Scalise told the crowd.
He took the stage at the start of the annual parish fair to thank the community for its support through some of his darkest days.
Scalise says after months spent away from home, it was important to give back.
"This is what we do as a community. We give to each other, we take care of each other and I sure saw that first-hand. The people of this community really stepped up to help my family during a really tough time," explained Scalise.
St. Catherine of Siena School leaders say the support came as second nature.
"When we heard about everything that was going on with Steve, our immediate response was, 'how can we help?'" said Principal Kimberlie Kilroy.
That includes those who barely know him.
"It's been the best thing to have Steve come back and join the community. We've been so faith-filled and prayerful and prayers for him, and we've been hoping this day would come," said parent Mary Hawes.
While he's hard-pressed to get through the crowd without hundreds of hugs and even a few tears, Scalise says the best part of the weekend's fair is spending time with his family.
"Watching my kids run around and, of course, come up and ask for more money every five minutes, but to see them having so much fun and playing with their friends, that's what it's all about," Scalise said.
Rep. Scalise says the best parts about being home are the people and the food.