Archbishop Philip Hannan's work in New Orleans sometimes moved outside the church and into the political world.
"I don't think we've had an archbishop since Archbishop Hannan who's been as vocal politically," says WGNO political analyst Jeff Crouere.
Crouere says Archbishop Hannan wanted Catholics to vote the way the church believed, and the way the people were supposed to believe. For Hannan, that meant voting pro-life and against anyone who supported or even permitted abortion rights. Hannan himself would join crowds at abortion clinics protesting the practice.
But his efforts would rise to a new level in the fall of 1996.
In a senate race in Louisiana that eventually would include a congressional investigation into election day voting, Hannan told Catholics they had no choice but to support republican Woody Jenkins over democrat Mary Landrieu because of Landrieu's stance on abortion.
"It was something that was controversial," Crouere remembers. "Certainly a lot of people thought it was inappropriate, but many of his staunch supporters were pleased that he did that."
It was a statement that Landrieu worked to deflect, but in the end, either enough Catholics didn't vote, or didn't vote for the church. Landrieu won.
"What I think was so shocking about this was it really was unprecedented," Crouere says. "Where you had an Archbishop make such a definitive statement and really in the final days of a U.S. Senate race, get right in the middle of it."
Even though it didn't work, the archbishop's idea attracted fans, like Suzanne Haik Terrell, who led a similar pro-Catholic charge against Landrieu in 2002. Again, Landrieu won, but what many people remember is not the candidates, but the clergy -- the archbishop -- who took his calling to a new level.