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Kennedy widow attends Hannan funeral

4 years ago October 05, 2011 Oct 5, 2011 Wednesday, October 05 2011 Wednesday, October 05, 2011 1:06:43 PM CDT in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Victoria Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, will attend Thursday's funeral for retired New Orleans Archbishop Philip M. Hannan.

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of New Orleans confirmed Victoria Kennedy's plan to attend but said Wednesday that no other Kennedy family members had yet indicated they would be present.

Hannan died Sept. 29 at age 98.

His body, clad in the robes he wore for the 1987 Papal Visit of John Paul II, was scheduled to be transported to St. Louis Cathedral Wednesday afternoon in a horse-drawn hearse. The famous St. Augustine Marching 100 band from a local high school planned to lead the cortege. Thousands of Catholic school children and others were expected to line the 4.5 mile route to the cathedral.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond will lead Thursday's celebration of the funeral Mass. Hannan will be buried under the altar at the cathedral.

Hannan was very close to the Kennedy family.

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, his widow, Jacqueline, asked Hannan to deliver the eulogy because of his personal relationship with the president, which dated to the 1940s. Hannan also officiated at a quiet reburial of two Kennedy infants in 1964 so their bodies could be near their father's in Arlington National Cemetery. And in 1968, Hannan traveled again from New Orleans to give the graveside eulogy for Sen. Robert. F. Kennedy, who also was assassinated.

When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died of cancer in 1994, Hannan was again at Arlington to preside at a brief service before her burial.


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