Archbishop Philip Hannan dies at 98
Philip Matthew Hannan, the archbishop who built an ever-widening network of services for the poor during nearly a quarter-century as the pastor of nearly a half-million New Orleans’ Catholics, died Thursday at 3 a.m. at Chateau de Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said. He was 98.
TED JACKSON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Philip Hannan retired archbishop of New Orleans, center with former President George H. Bush and Saints Garrett Hartley before the start of the NFC Championship between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Sunday, January 24, 2010.
Archbishop Philip Hannan throughout the years gallery (40 photos)
Archbishop Hannan died on the 46th anniversary of his appointment to New Orleans.
Archbishop Hannan "truly made New Orleans his home. This was his parish and his archdiocese, and it had no boundaries,' Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a statement.
At his death, Archbishop Hannan was the senior archbishop or bishop in the American hierarchy, and the third oldest, behind retired Archbishop Peter Gerety of Newark, 99, and retired Bishop Joseph McLaughlin of Buffalo, 98.
Archbishop Hannan enjoyed a long and robust public retirement well into his 90s. But though free of major chronic illness, he became more frail year by year. Enfeebled by a series of small strokes, he was hospitalized during a dangerous bout with pneumonia in December.
Bruce Nolan and John Pope, staff writers
He was able to return home to his cottage in Covington and live there with assistance. But the illness took a toll and initiated a general decline.
In mid-June, Archbishop Hannan moved to Chateau de Notre Dame, an archdiocesan facility built under his tenure.
There followed occasional brief hospitalizations for support and comfort care, most recently fewer than two weeks ago.
Born in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Hannan came to New Orleans at a moment of crisis in October 1965, in the wake of Hurricane Betsy. He spent nearly 25 years at the head of a regional church with nearly 500,000 Catholics.
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