THE ICON: Philip M. Hannan
THE LEGACY: When newly appointed Archbishop Philip M. Hannan arrived in New Orleans to lead the region’s Catholics, he found a city on its knees. Just weeks earlier, in September 1965, Hurricane Betsy had laid waste to the city. Hannan was not dissuaded. For the next 46 years — half as archbishop, half in retirement — he shepherded to his flock with energy and compassion. In particular, he championed the city’s poor, as well as playing a key role in welcoming Vietnamese immigrants to the city in the 1970s. In the process, the son of Irish immigrants became more than the face and the voice of the local Catholic Church. He became a New Orleanian, through and through.
THE ARTIST: Alexandra Kilburn, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “I could feel these people had a certain morale. I knew these people would come back.” — Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, discussing the attitudes of New Orleans after Hurricane Betsy