image"Sounds good to me,” were the last words of the former Roman Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans, the Most Reverend Philip Hannan. According to the Times-Picayune, he was responding to Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond from his hospital bed to the part of the Sacrament for the Sick that offers absolution from sin in the name of Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Hannan was a great supporter of all things Shroud of Turin and helped bring it to the attention of many people in New Orleans and the world at large.

An obituary in the New York Times informs us:

In New Orleans, where public swimming pools were not open to African-Americans, he integrated the pool at the archdiocese’s Notre Dame Seminary. He also established after-school programs for children of all faiths at neighborhood centers throughout the archdiocese. He secured federal support to build nearly 3,000 affordable housing units for seniors and poor people. He created one of the largest food banks for poor people in the country. And he set up a hospice for AIDS patients.

imagePhilip Matthew Hannan was born in Washington on May 20, 1913, one of eight children of Patrick and Lillian Hannan. His father was a plumber. The future archbishop earned a licentiate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in canon law from Catholic University of America before being ordained in 1939.

In 1942, he enlisted to become an Army chaplain and was assigned to the 505th Parachute Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1945, he helped liberate a concentration camp at Wöbbelin, Germany.

The black and white photograph from 1945 shows Captain Hannan (Fr. Hannan, chaplain) assisting prisoners into an Army truck at the Wöbbelin concentration camp shortly after the Battle of the Bulge.

From Barrie Schwortz’ STERA website we read:

imageRecently, a number of us were honored by Archbishop Philip M. Hannan who invited us to participate in a series of Shroud interview programs he is producing for the Focus Worldwide Catholic Network, an organization he founded after retiring as the Archbishop of New Orleans for twenty-four years. The amazing Archbishop is nearing his 87th birthday and still follows a rigorous schedule of daily exercise and work. Among the participants in this series to be aired in the future are Prof. Avinoam Danin, Rev. Albert "Kim" Dreisbach, Dr. John and Rebecca Jackson, Don Lynn, Kevin Moran, Vernon Miller, Dr. Alan and Mary Whanger and Dr. Fred Zugibe. Some of us also participated in "Focus," a live program presented over WLAE, the New Orleans Public Broadcasting Station (also founded by Archbishop Hannan), that provided viewers an opportunity to call in and ask questions about the Shroud. Archbishop Hannan plans to make video tapes of the programs available to the public in the near future.

Photograph from shows the Archbishop along with Mary Lou McCall and Barrie Schwortz on the set of "Focus" in New Orleans.