Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Archbishop Hannan

>>>Dont usually post from wikipedia but on balance a nice resume of our beloved retired Archbishop, Philip Hannan, who on Friday last, May 20th, celebrated his 98th birthday!  After a health scare earlier in the year we all are thrilled to see the Archbishop alive and well and still praying for and with the people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans:

The Most Reverend
Philip Matthew Hannan
Archbishop of New Orleans

Province New Orleans
See New Orleans
Enthroned October 13, 1965
Reign ended December 6, 1988
Predecessor John Patrick Cardinal Cody
Successor Francis Bible Schulte
Other posts Auxiliary Bishop of Washington 1956-1965
Ordination December 8, 1939
Consecration August 28, 1956
Personal details
Born May 20, 1913 (1913-05-20) (age 98)
Washington, District of Columbia

Philip Matthew Hannan (born May 20, 1913) is an American Roman Catholic priest and bishop who served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and later as the Eleventh Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans from September 29, 1965 to December 6, 1988.

Philip Hannan was born in Washington, D.C. into an Irish-American family. His father, P. F. Hannan, had emigrated from Ireland and settled in Washington, where he met Lillian Keefe, a native Washingtonian purportedly with ties to the Smithson family of Smithsonian Institution fame. However, James Smithson, benefactor of the Institution, was a bastard son of Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, who had changed his own family name from Smithson to Percy. Furthermore, Smithson was born Jacques Louis Macie, later anglicized as James Lewis Macie, only taking the name Smithson after his mother's death, and had neither descendants of his own nor any close relatives with the same surname. Therefore, the claim made by Ms. Keefe is highly unlikely.[original research?]

Hannan is one of eight siblings, having one sister (Mary) and six brothers (John, Frank, Bill, Tom, Denis, and Jerry.)

Hannan attended high school at St. John's College High School in northwest Washington, D.C, followed by college studies at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland and the Sulpician Seminary (known now as Theological College) affiliated with The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Following his studies at The Catholic University of America, Hannan studied from 1936 to 1939 as a major seminarian at the North American College in Rome, where he personally witnessed the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany. He would later write a biographical account, Rome: Living under the Axis, detailing his experiences in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore-Washington on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1939.[1]

He returned to the United States and spent the next two years as a curate at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Baltimore, Maryland.[2]

After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' entry into World War II, Hannan enlisted in the United States Army, where he served as a chaplain to the 82nd Airborne Division. He parachuted into Europe with the rest of his division and ministered to the paratroopers during the Ardennes Offensive. Hannan was also with American soldiers during the liberation of a concentration camp.

After the war, Hannan served briefly as pastor of the Cologne Cathedral during the American occupation of Germany.[3][4]

He returned to the United States and served as a pastor and administrator in the Archdiocese of Baltimore-Washington. When the archdiocese of Washington was split from the archdiocese of Baltimore on November 15, 1947, with separate archbishops being appointed for each, Hannan became a priest of the newly erected Archdiocese of Washington. In 1951, Hannan established the Catholic Standard newspaper in Washington and served as its editor-in-chief. Later that same year he was named chancellor of the Archdiocese, and Pope Pius XII honored Father Hannan in 1952 by naming him a Monsignor. On June 16, 1956, Hannan was named Titular Bishop of Hieropolis and Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, and was consecrated in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on August 28.

As Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, Hannan was part of the U.S. delegation to the Second Vatican Council, where he served as a press officer. As of 2011, Hannan is one of two living United States bishop to have attended all four sessions of Vatican II, along with Raymond Hunthausen, Archbishop Emeritus of Seattle, Washington.

During his 9 years as auxiliary bishop of Washington, and because of his skills as a press officer in both Baltimore and Washington, Hannan became acquainted with several prominent politicians, especially the Kennedy family. It was his familiarity with the Kennedys that would move Hannan into the national spotlight.

Hannan was in Rome for meetings of the Second Session of the Second Vatican Council in November 1963 when news reached him concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which forced his immediate return to Washington. At Kennedy's state funeral mass, Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, served as the principal celebrant. Cushing was a close friend of the family who had witnessed and blessed the marriage of Senator Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, baptized two of their children, given the invocation at President Kennedy's inauguration, and officiated at the recent funeral of the President's infant son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy. Hannan, however, was asked by the Kennedy family to deliver the homily at the Requirm Mass, which substituted for a formal eulogy, since a traditional eulogy was not permitted by the Catholic Church.[5]

During the Fourth Session of Vatican II, specifically on September 29, 1965, Hannan was appointed as the eleventh Archbishop of New Orleans, succeeding Archbishop John Cody (later Cardinal), who had been transferred to Chicago. He moved to New Orleans only weeks after Hurricane Betsy hit the city, and he became a spiritual leader during the rebuilding of both the city and the archdiocese.

He presided over the New Orleans archdiocese during a time of great change. The Second Vatican Council concluded on December 8, 1965, and Archbishop Hannan led the effort to implement the Council's policies of reform within the archdiocese. Hannan instituted a Social Apostolate program in 1966 which now provides over 20 million pounds of free food each year to 42,000 needy women, children and elderly. He also reformed the Archdiocesan Catholic Charities system, which now serves as the largest non-governmental social service agency in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

At the same time, the demographics of the city were changing, as Catholic whites moved to the suburbs, while Orleans Parish became increasingly Protestant. New churches and parishes were being built throughout the city, while attendance in inner-city churches declined.[6]

As for his political views, Archbishop Hannan was known to be a staunch anti-Communist, and was one of the leaders of a moderate minority of bishops who opposed the May 3, 1983 pastoral letter of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops entitled The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response, which came out strongly against the notion of deterrence and advocated a nuclear freeze with the Soviet Union.

Hannan was archbishop when Pope John Paul II made his apostolic visit to New Orleans between September 11 and 13, 1987, the first ever Papal Visit to the city. Hannan was the Pontiff's personal guide throughout his three day tour of the city.[7][8]

In May 1988, upon reaching his 75th birthday and in accordance with canon law, Archbishop Hannan submitted his resignation. This resignation was accepted on December 6, 1988, when Hannan was succeeded as Archbishop by Francis Schulte, then Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia. 

Archbishop Hannan was the Archbishop of New Orleans for over twenty years, during which he became one the city's most recognized and popular residents. He has received numerous civic honors including the most prestigious award presented to a New Orleans civic leader, The Times-Picayune Loving Cup. In 1987, The Catholic University of America honored him by naming its new science center Hannan Hall and conferring upon him the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Georgetown University.

In 1996, Hannan was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award. It was named after a 1963 encyclical letter by Pope John XXIII that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations. Pacem in Terris is Latin for 'Peace on Earth.'

Also in 1996, Hannan, as a retired archbishop, publicly opposed the election of Democrat Mary Landrieu, a Roman Catholic whose family had been Hannan's longtime friends, to the United States Senate. Although stopping short of endorsing (or even mentioning) Landrieu's Republican opponent, Woody Jenkins, the retired archbishop had become concerned, as he explained, by the endorsement of Landrieu by Emily's List, an organization devoted to pro-choice candidates on the issue of abortion.[9] Emily's List later ceased its support of Senator Landrieu prior to her 2002 reelection because of her congressional opposition to intact dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion). Hannan's 1996 declaration has been cited as influential on later Catholic prelates in issuing cautionary statements about pro abortion rights Catholic politicians and in barring them from communion.[10]

At the age of 92, Hannan was still in the news when it was revealed that, during Hurricane Katrina, he courageously remained at a studio in a Catholic television station he had founded in Metairie, in order to protect it from looting. In the aftermath of Katrina, Hannan continued in the effort to revive New Orleans, by both inspiring residents spiritually and pitching in to the clean-up effort physically.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2008, from his home in Covington, the retired archbishop published his "Thanksgiving and Christmas Blessings" in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The full-page announcement was mostly a pro-life appeal expressing particular concern over the potential threat that the "evil" Freedom of Choice Act might be passed into law by the incoming United States Congress and the Presidential administration of Barack Obama. The ad cited the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and, quoting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, warns that "a bad court decision will be enshrined in bad legislation that is more radical than the decision itself."[11]

In May 2010, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing published Hannan's memoirs in The Archbishop Wore Combat Boots - From Combat, to Camelot, to Katrina: A Memoir of an Extraordinary Life by Archbishop Philip Hannan with Nancy Collins and Peter Finney, Jr., hardcover, 457 pages, ISBN 978-1-59276-697-0.

As of March 2011, Hannan remains an influential spiritual figure in Louisiana, and is part of a rarity in American Catholicism. Hannan is the oldest of four living Archbishops of New Orleans, where the eleventh (Hannan, from September 29, 1965 until December 6, 1988), twelfth (Francis Bible Schulte, from December 6, 1988 until January 3, 2002), thirteenth (Alfred Clifton Hughes, coadjutor from February 16, 2001 to January 3, 2002, archbishop until June 12, 2009) and fourteenth (Gregory Michael Aymond, appointed June 12, 2009) continue to minister and live in the Archdiocese.

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