Archbishop Aymond: Archbishop Hannan was 'a good shepherd modeled after Christ'
Archbishop Gregory Aymond released the following statement on the death of former New Orleans Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, who passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday, Sept. 29, at 3 a.m. at Chateau de Notre Dame:
Archbishop Hannan in every way was a good shepherd of the church who was modeled after Christ, not just for Catholics of New Orleans but for the whole community. One of his favorite hymns when Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to New Orleans in 1987 was "Let There Be Peace on Earth," and he died peacefully. I believe that he will be praying for us that we can have peace in our city.
We will miss him, but at 98, he has lived a full life. We truly believe in faith that he will feast not just at table of the Eucharist but at the table of the Lord in heaven.
From the time Archbishop Hannan came here right after Hurricane Betsy in 1965, he truly made New Orleans his home. This was his parish and his archdiocese, and it had no boundaries. He was there for anyone and everyone. That was his goal in life. He always quoted St. Paul, and he truly believed that his mission and ministry was to preach the Gospel untiringly both in actions and in words.
Former N.O. Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, confidante of JFK, defender of unborn, dies at 98
Retired New Orleans Archbishop Philip Matthew Hannan, a WWII paratroop chaplain who befriended and secretly counseled John F. Kennedy during and after his historic march to the White House as the first U.S. Catholic president, died Thursday, Sept. 29, at 3 a.m. at the age of 98.
Archbishop Hannan was the third-oldest U.S. bishop, behind Newark Archbishop Peter L. Gerety, who turned 99 on July 19, and Buffalo Auxiliary Bishop Bernard J. McLaughlin, who will turn 99 on Nov. 19. He was the last surviving U.S. bishop to have attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) as a bishop.
Mercy reunion draws alumnae from 1935-1992
In his Civil War diary, Abraham Lincoln used the term “angels of mercy” to describe the nuns in his midst.
“Of all the forms of charity in the hospitals, those of some Catholic sisters were the most efficient,” wrote Lincoln. “More lovely than anything I have ever seen in art are the pictures of those modest sisters, going among the suffering and the dying.”
Lincoln’s observation was recalled at a recent Mass and brunch celebrating the legacy of three shuttered, all-girls’ schools operated by the New Orleans Sisters of Mercy: Redemptorist Girls High, Holy Name of Jesus High and Mercy Academy. Although their alma maters have three different names, the 215 attendees, representing the classes of 1935 though 1992, collectively classify themselves as “Mercy Alumnae.”
Priests affirm, challenge each other
For three days last week, nearly 200 priests who serve in the Archdiocese of New Orleans stepped away from their parishes to take a fresh, focused look at their mission and ministry and at the things that are either barriers or springboards to cultivating unity among themselves and with Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
When they left a Metairie hotel Sept. 22 following the first extended convocation called by Archbishop Aymond, they expressed appreciation for the opportunity to discuss issues that often fly just below the radar – things such as the heavy workload because of fewer priests, the perceived differences in “liberal” or “conservative” ecclesiology between older and younger priests, and differences that can arise based on race, ethnicity and culture.
They also left knowing each other in a profoundly deeper way, and they thanked Archbishop Aymond for bringing them together. Father Billy O’Riordan, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Belle Chasse and a priest for 26 years, said there were some priests he had never met. Others, he hadn’t seen in 10 or 15 years.