Jerome Hanus

His Excellency The Most Reverend
Jerome Hanus, O.S.B.
S.T.L., M.A., D.D.
Archbishop Emeritus of Dubuque
Appointed August 23, 1994
In office October 16, 1995–April 8, 2013
Predecessor Daniel Kucera
Successor Michael Jackels
Other posts Bishop of Saint Cloud (1987-1994)
Coadjutor Archbishop of Dubuque (1994–1995)
Ordination July 30, 1966
by Gerald Thomas Bergan
Consecration August 24, 1987
by John Roach
Personal details
Birth name George Hanus
Born (1940-05-26) May 26, 1940
Brainard, Nebraska, United States
Parents Leo A. Hanus & Kristine Polak
Alma mater Conception Seminary, Pontifical University of St. Anselm

Jerome Hanus, O.S.B. (born May 26, 1940), is an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He was the ninth Archbishop of Dubuque, serving from October 16, 1995 until April 8, 2013, when Pope Francis named Michael Jackels.[1] A member of the Order of Saint Benedict, he was Abbot of Conception Abbey from 1977 to 1987.[2] He also served as Bishop of Saint Cloud (1987–1994) and Coadjutor Archbishop of Dubuque (1994–1995).[3]

Early life and education

He was born George Hanus in Brainard, Nebraska, to Leo A. and Kristine (née Polak) Hanus. The third of eight children, he has three brothers and four sisters.[4] He received his early education at parochial schools in Dwight and Bellwood, and graduated from St. John Vianney Seminary in Elkhorn in 1958.[5][6]

Hanus joined the Order of Saint Benedict, more commonly known as the Benedictines, at Conception Abbey in Conception, Missouri.[2] He made his profession as a Benedictine monk on September 1, 1961, taking the name Jerome.[3] He studied at Conception Seminary College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963.[7] He continued his studies at the Pontifical University of St. Anselm in Rome, receiving a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1967.[8]


Hanus was ordained to the priesthood on July 30, 1966.[3] He taught scholastic theology at Conception Seminary College from 1967 to 1969.[7] He studied moral theology at Princeton University, and there earned a Master of Arts degree in 1972.[8] He then returned to Conception Seminary, where he served as professor of religion from 1973 to 1976.[7] From 1974 to 1976, he was an adjunct professor of moral theology at the Pontifical University of St. Anselm in Rome.[7]

Hanus was elected the sixth abbot of Conception Abbey on January 5, 1977, and received the abbatial blessing the next day.[2] In addition to his role as abbot at Conception Abbey, he served as Abbot President of the Swiss-American Congregation, to which the abbey belongs, from 1984 to 1987.[9]


Bishop of Saint Cloud

On July 6, 1987, Abbot Jerome was appointed the eighth Bishop of Saint Cloud by Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated on August 24, 1987 by Archbishop John Roach of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Bishops John Joseph Sullivan of Kansas City-Saint Joseph and George Henry Speltz of Saint Cloud were the principal co-consecrators.[10] He served in Saint Cloud for seven years.

Archbishop of Dubuque

On August 23, 1994, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Hanus as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Dubuque. Archbishop Hanus was welcomed on October 27, 1994. He spent the next year becoming acquainted with the people and institutions that made up the Archdiocese. After one year, Archbishop Kucera decided to retire. When Kucera's request was approved by the Holy See on October 16, 1995, Hanus automatically succeeded him as 11th bishop and 9th archbishop of Dubuque.

Archbishop Hanus implemented a strategic planning process throughout the archdiocese. He spoke to the people of the diocese via videotaped messages played at Mass and gave the people a chance to respond and express their own views as regards the needs of the church. As a result of this process he issued a vision statement, which spelled out his hopes and plans for the archdiocese. These plans included an increased role for the laity in leadership roles throughout the archdiocese.[11] This was necessitated by the priest shortage and changing demographics of the archdiocese. Because of these realities, Hanus has had to combine and close a number of parishes.[12] He also had to deal with the sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the church in recent times.

In the wake of a federal immigration raid at a meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa, Archbishop Hanus called for comprehensive immigration reform.[13] He also called on those who gathered at a prayer service to remember the scriptures "to treat the alien in your midst like your brother or sister, and that when you receive the alien, the foreigner, you are welcoming Christ."[14]

Hanus submitted his resignation as Archbishop for health reasons, which Pope Francis accepted. On April 8, 2013, Hanus announced that Francis had appointed Bishop Michael Owen Jackels of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas to succeed him.[15] Hanus acted as apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese until Jackels was installed on May 30, after which he resumed his life as a monk in Missouri.[16]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
George Henry Speltz
Bishop of Saint Cloud
Succeeded by
John Francis Kinney
Preceded by
Daniel Kucera
Archbishop of Dubuque
Succeeded by
Michael Owen Jackels


  1. "Hanus resigned, Jackels named Dubuque Archbishop". Catholic Hierarchy Blog.
  2. 1 2 3 "Benedictine Monks Consecrated Bishops". The Order of Saint Benedict.
  3. 1 2 3 "Archbishop Jerome George Hanus, O.S.B.". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. "Kristine Hanus". Telegraph Herald. 2007-12-18.
  5. Cooper, Brian (2002-09-29). "Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB". Telegraph Herald.
  6. "Nebraska Native Named Bishop". Omaha World-Herald. 1987-07-15.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Who's Who in Religion. Marquis Who's Who. 1985.
  8. 1 2 Morphew, Clark (1994-08-24). "ST. CLOUD BISHOP GETS DUBUQUE ASSIGNMENT". St. Paul Pioneer Press.
  9. Gendler, Neal (1987-07-15). "Benedictine monk will become bishop of St. Cloud Diocese". Star Tribune.
  10. "Archbishop Jerome George Hanus, O.S.B.". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  11. New Catholic Encyclopedia, Second Edition. Vol. 4. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America. 2003. p. 925.
  15. Dubuque Gets New Archbishop Today, Iowa: KCRG, 2013, retrieved 2013-04-08
  16. Wichita bishop to be installed Dubuque archbishop on May 30, Dubuque: Telegraph Herald, 2013, retrieved 2013-04-08
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