Henry A. Hanses was born on October 28, 1896 in Detroit, Michigan to Henry and Baldwina Goebel Hanses. When Hanses was in grade school, the family moved to Augusta, Kentucky. Feeling a call to the priesthood, Hanses entered St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1919 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Covington, Kentucky.
Father Hanses held various assignments in the Diocese of Covington including: associate pastor of St. John Church, Covington 1919-1920; associate pastor of Mother of God Church, Covington 1920-1921; and a missionary in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky from 1921-1945. During his stay in the Appalachians, Father Hanses grew to love the simple customs and traditions of the mountain people. He also cultivated a great love of the poor during this time of his life. Father Hanses was raised to the rank of Monsignor on August 30, 1950 in recognition of his many reasons of service to the Kentucky Mountain Missions.
Monsignor Hanses was appointed associate pastor of St. John Church in Covington in 1945. The pastor at this time was his uncle, the Reverend Anton Goebel. In 1954, he succeeded his uncle as pastor of St. John. Hanses was a much beloved figure in both the parish and neighborhood. He always found ways to reach out to the poor and suffering of the community. He was known to have frequently emptied his pockets to help those in need. In 1971, Monsignor Hanses retired as pastor of St. John and again became associate pastor of the same parish. He completely retired in 1975. The Lewisburg park was named in honor of Monsignor Hanses’ many years of service to the neighborhood.
Monsignor Henry Hanses died on January 19, 1982 at St. Luke Hospital in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. John Church.
Messenger, January 24, 1982; Clergy Obituary Sheet, Archives of the Diocese of Covington.