WGNO Facebook friends recalled memories of Hannan celebrating their confirmations and officiating at graduations.
Louisiana Bobby Jindal released a statement this morning:
“Hannan was a dear friend who lived a life of selflessness through both his service in the military and in the Church. In the military, he not only earned the nickname 'The Jumping Padre' when he ministered to the 82nd Airborne, but he also literally crawled towards danger to help his fellow soldiers. As a spiritual leader, he continued his mission to serve people. From the time he first arrived in Louisiana, Archbishop Hannan helped comfort the people of New Orleans and our entire state as we worked to rebuild after multiple storms. While he is no longer with us, we can honor his legacy by striving towards living a life of service and sacrifice."
U.S. Senator David Vitter said he and his wife Wendy were thankful for the impact Hannan had on their life.
“He was a strong, inspiring leader for the Church in Louisiana and the nation, and he leaves a powerful legacy including his service as an Army chaplain in World War II and his staunch defense of the right to life,” Vitter said.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who was targeted by Hannan during an election for her stance on abortion, weighed in on Hannan’s contribution to Louisiana.
"Archbishop Hannan was admired and beloved by many, and he will be truly missed as a leader in our community,” Landrieu said.
Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao, himself a former Catholic seminarian, said the Vietnamese-American community in New Orleans East shared a strong bond with the archbishop.
“In the aftermath of a tragic civil war that killed millions, thousands of Vietnamese men, women and children scrambled into boats and planes to escape the terror and violence of the Communist regime and seek freedom and democracy here in the United States. After spending months in the cramped and noisy quarters of the refugee camps in Arkansas, a group of Vietnamese refugees was brought by Archbishop Hannan to New Orleans through the assistance of Catholic Charities with the love and support of the people of New Orleans. What was once considered to be a journey of death and despair was turned into a journey of life and hope for the refugees,” a statement from Cao read.
Saints owner Tom Benson had also had a close relationship with Hannan and said in a statement that he would cherish the time they spent together, especially at the Super Bowl in Miami.
“He has impacted my life and the life of my wife Gayle in many ways. We have both relied on him in the past and we will now look to him in the future for continued strength and spiritual guidance. His life was a living testament of how one's faith can steer you through tough times as well as prosperous times. “
“On a personal note, some of my most favorite memories are sharing an occasional Sunday Mass at the Superdome and then taking in a Saints game with him.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu mourned one of the city's "greatest leaders in our nearly 300-year history."
"A builder in the truest form and a man dedicated to education, from his earliest days he led the rebuilding of badly damaged churches and schools and drove the creation of a strong Catholic school system throughout the Archdiocese. Archbishop Hannan was also a firm believer in caring for the community’s seniors and the poor, leading important housing and social justice programs.”
“Archbishop Hannan was a devoted man to his family, his church, and this community. He consistently stood for a vibrant, God-fearing community, and he truly was a spiritual shepherd to his flock.”