Following the Saints' Super Bowl victory on Sunday, Archbishop Phillip Hannan, the retired Archbishop of New Orleans, lauded the team's win and told CNA that “it was a tremendous effort.”
“Everybody involved, in a marvelous way supported each other,” said the archbishop on Monday, adding that he was “tremendously grateful” the Saints “won the fight.”
Kent Bossier, the personal assistant and care taker of the 96-year-old prelate, told CNA that their lively Super Bowl experience began when they were flown to Miami from New Orleans on Saint's owner Tom Benson's private jet.
On game day, “we rode into the stadium earlier in the day with the players entourage,” said Bossier.
Prior to the showdown with Indianapolis, Archbishop Hannan concelebrated a pre-game Mass with current New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond. The Mass ended with a rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” Bossier recalled.
When the game began, Archbishop Hannan and Bossier were honored by being seated in Tom Benson's suite along with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and his wife Supriya Jindal as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“There were lots of hugs and high fives going on,” Bossier said.
As Saints fans around the country celebrated the win, Archbishop Hannan and his assistant joined the players in choruses of "Who Dat" and "When the Saints Go Marching In."
Archbishop Hannan's history with the Saints stretches back to 1967, when he not only approved the naming of the Saints at their inception but also wrote an official prayer in honor of the team.