In 1965, WWL-TV editorialist/newsman/documentary producer Phil Johnson and photographer Del Hall traveled to Rome to cover not only the Second Vatican Council, but also prepare a special program on Philip Hannan, who had just been appointed Archbishop of New Orleans. This is an excerpt from the opening of that program.
Good evening. This is Phil Johnson in Vatican City.
The bells of Rome ring loudly today, from chapels, churches and basilicas all over this ancient city, from the top of Janiculum Hill to the Porta Santa Marta by the side of St. Peter’s. As they have for centuries, these bells toll the temper of the Roman spirit.
Today, they ring loudly, joyously, overpowering even the unbelievable cacophony of the impossible Roman traffic. Pope Paul has returned, safe and with hope, from his visit to America and the United Nations. And Rome is happy.
At this moment he has just left St. Peter’s Basilica, after addressing the thousands of bishops, cardinals, patriarchs and primates assembled from all over the world for this, the fourth session of the Vatican Ecumenical Council.
This is the Council of Aggiornamento, of renewal, of change – change for the church in the world, change even for the church in New Orleans.
Out of these discussions in St. Peter’s have come new precepts, new liturgy, new guidelines for the faithful throughout the world. And out of the Council fathers gathered here has come a new Archbishop for New Orleans.
He is a young Archbishop, vigorous and strong at 52. And he brings to his new Archdiocese a background rich in intellectual and personal accomplishment.
He is a newspaper editor, an administrator, a paratroop chaplain, a eulogizer of presidents and – most of all – a spiritual father to all.
He is Philip Matthew Hannan – 11th Archbishop of New Orleans.
Who is this new Archbishop? What is he? What are his goals, what is his philosophy? What changes will he bring to this, one of the oldest Archdioceses in the new world? To find the answers to these and other questions, we came to the source – to Rome, where Archbishop Hannan, until his appointment, was in charge of the press panel of the American Bishops attending the Vatican Council.
At the end, we were impressed most by two things – his utmost sincerity and his sense of purpose. We find him a man of great conviction, and of great eloquence – a man of ideals, and yet a practical man, a man now pursuing one ambition – to lead and to serve the people of New Orleans.