‘Archbishop Hannan never stopped proclaiming the Gospel’

Archbishop Hannan in 1985. (Photo by Frank H. Methe III/Clarion Herald)

“One of the great blessings of my life was to sit with him over the course of two years, beginning in 2007 when he was 94, and let him tell his stories,” Finney notes. “Those stories and the ones he told his first cousin Nancy Collins formed the basis of his autobiography, ‘The Archbishop Wore Combat Boots.’”

“He dreamed – big and often,” Finney says. “His teachers, including a Brother Luke at St. John’s High School in Washington, caught on to that very quickly. ‘Hannan,’ Brother Luke told him one day, ‘you get too many ideas. Skip every third idea.’

“But that’s the trouble with dreamers. They keep dreaming, and if they have enough conviction, it becomes a reality.”

The Clarion Herald website has a lengthy obituary on the archbishop and also has a number of other tributes to Archbishop Hannan, including a reflection by New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and some thoughts from the owner of the Saints, Tom Benson.

Tropical storm damage still felt on East Coast

New Jersey residents take boat through floodwater. (CNS photo/Reuters)

Although the late summer rain storms are no longer a major topic of the news cycle,  the damage they caused are still at the forefront for many on the East Coast.

A Sept.22 story in The Evangelist, newspaper of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., brings this home with its account of ongoing cleanup efforts. Father Thomas Holmes, pastor of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Middleburgh, said he did not have hot water for two weeks after the water heater was damaged when the basement flooded. Although he was happy to report no other significant damage, he could not say the same thing for about 20 families in his parish whose homes were hit hard by the storms and in some cases rendered unliveable.

He also has seen much good will since the storm and said he has been “totally impressed” with donations from diocesan parishes. “They’re calling up to say, ‘We want to send you money’ — and it’s not little money, it’s big money. It’s really an opportunity to show what we’re all about,” he said.

Our Lady of the Valley Parish is only accepting monetary donations since it has no storage space. Parishioners also have been doling out 300 to 400 meals each day to storm victims and relief workers at the parish hall.

“There’s a lot of goodness that’s come out of this,” Father Holmes said.

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