The Most Reverend
Jerome G. Hanus, O.S.B.
1987 – 1994
George Hanus was born on May 26, 1940 in Brainard, Nebraska. He made his profession as a Benedictine monk on September 1, 1961, taking the name Jerome. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 30, 1966. He was was elected the sixth abbot of Conception Abbey in Conception, Mo. on January 5, 1977. On July 6, 1987, he was appointed the seventh Bishop of Saint Cloud, Minn. by Pope John Paul II and ordained on Aug. 24, 1987.
Bishop Hanus came to the Diocese of Saint Cloud with the motto: “to serve rather than rule.” By all accounts, Bishop Hanus lived up to his motto. He was a collaborative leader, a good listener and had an uncanny ability to remember names and faces.
Bishop Hanus used exercise and card games to connect with the people of St. Cloud. He made time for racquetball with parishioners, cards with his fellow priests and an occasional fishing trip with Bishop Speltz.
During his time in St. Cloud, Bishop Hanus promoted health care as a ministry of the church. He supported Catholic health care institutions, encouraged the hiring of parish nurses and gave the laity a greater role in the health care mission of the church.
Bishop Hanus improved diocesan finances by professionalizing accounting processes and investments. He initiated a capital campaign for the priests’ retirement fund and hired a diocesan development director. Bishop Hanus also increased pay and benefits for diocesan staff (both lay and religious).
In addition to his health care and finance initiatives, Bishop Hanus also restructured the guidelines for permanent deacons and pastoral associates. He approved new processes for screening, selecting and training candidates.
He served as Bishop of Saint Cloud for seven years. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Hanus as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Dubuque on Aug. 23, 1994. On October 16, 1995, he succeeded Archbishop Kucera as 11th bishop and 9th archbishop of Dubuque. He resigned on April 8, 2013 due to health reasons and is retired and resides at Conception Abbey, Mo.