Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- Bob Chaney remembers sharing Pope John Paul II’s visit to New Orleans with thousands of people inside the Superdome.
“It was just exciting,” Chaney said. “He came in on a motorcade and shook hands with different people and gave different people his blessing."
The September 1987 papal visit was made possible by Archbishop Philip Hannan, who persuaded the pope to come to the Crescent City.
“He always gave of himself I think a lot of people shared a lot with him,” Chaney said.
On Thursday Chaney joined parishioners for Mass at Lakeview's St. Dominic’s Parish, marking the feast of the archangels and taking a moment to remember the late archbishop.
"I think one of those people we called an angel died this morning -- Archbishop Hannan, who was somebody for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, for the people of New Orleans,” said Pastor Michael O'Rourke.
"We're going to miss him, doing very good work, and I have been to a couple of his masses,” said Lena Fassbender, a St. Dominic Parish churchgoer.
Dr. Norman Francis, president of Xavier University, was a close friend and colleague of Hannan. He said Hannan was a man of the people.
"I think what he would want in that little dash between his birth and his death was that he was committed to people,” he said. “People from all walks of life."
Asked to pinpoint the archbishop's legacy, Francis hesitated, saying Hannan accomplished many things in his lifetime -- always remaining humble.
"He walked with the kings and did not lose his common touch,” Francis said. “He carried that his whole lifetime. 98 years of age is a long time."
"It surprised me that he was so approachable,” said Mary Ann Logreco, a Lakeview resident.
A common touch that Mary Ann Logreco still remembers years later -- sitting in a doctor's office with her restless son in her arm.
"When my child was at the dermatologist's office we had an opportunity for him to entertain the youngest of one by drawing pictures of clipper ships,” she said.