October is my favorite month of the year in New Orleans. The heat finally breaks and the chances of a tropical system starts to diminish. It’s also been a very newsy few weeks here so I thought I’d share.
The big story right now is the passing offormer Archbishop Philip Hannan at the advanced age of 98. Hannan was a larger than life figure. He was a chaplain with the 82nd Airborne in World War II and jumped with his flock thereby earning a series of nicknames, my favorite being the Parachuting Padre. Holy Father Mulcahy, Batman.
Hannan hasn’t been the head holy joe in NOLA since 1988 but he’s stayed around and enjoyed a busy retirement. His other claim to fame is that he was close to the Kennedy family: he married Jack and Jackie and officiated at JFK, RFK and Jackie O’s funerals. The tourists have been pumping me for info about Hannan and it’s easy to tell who the Democrats are: they’re impressed by that detail, the Goopers shrug and say “whatever.” Hannan hewed to the church party line on issues involving sexual politics but preferred talking about the church’s stands on social justice. On the debit side, he buried his head in the sand when it came to perv priests but managed to get through that with his popularity intact.
Yesterday there was a procession that brought Archbishop Hannan’s body 4 miles from a seminary Uptown to St Louis Cathedral. I popped out and saw the end of this funereal promenade and it was quite a sight. The tourists were quite interested and astonishingly well-behaved. The Archdiocese’s public teevee station, WLAE, has had a macabre video stream up showing the viewing of Hannan’s open casket. I *hate* open coffin funerals; especially when the deceased was elderly and frail. Somebody should have called the Fisher brothers…
I’d originally planned to write about other NOLA news but there’s a shop to be tended and stuff to be sold so it’s time for me to STFU for now.