Hickey, Father John
1869, February 18
Date of Birth: 1789, December 4
March 12, 1869
Fathers and Very Dear Confreres:
No Memorial Card is Available
The Good God recently called to Himself Father John Hickey of Baltimore. Born in Maryland on December 4, 1789, he entered the Seminary of Baltimore in 1804; there he received tonsure on July 5, 1806, minor orders on December 23, 1809, subdiaconate on December 19, 1812, diaconate on December 16, 1813, and the priesthood on December 24, 1814. While he was a seminarian, he was engaged as a teacher at St. Mary’s College, conducted by our Fathers. His piety, his zeal, and the love he had for St. Sulpice earned him admission to our Society. He worked also at Emmitsburg college while the Society was in charge of it. After the separation, in spite of overtures made to him, he refused to become part of the new administration because, as he said, he wanted to live and die as a son of Father Olier. Hence, he returned to Baltimore. Given permission to work outside the seminary, he took up various tasks with all the virtues of a holy priest and remained always completely obedient to the superior of the seminary. May I emphasize that he did no work, made no journey, never left the city, without asking permission; in this regard he may well serve us all as a worthy model. And, when the occasion called for it, he went to the superior and said to him: I’m not asking anything – I am explaining my situation – just tell me what to do. So, he was at the outset of his priesthood; so he was at its end.
Wherever he went, he received regard and respect by reason of his humility, his charity, and his unselfish attitude. He was looked upon as a saint. He was the only one who did not think so.
I am, he said, but a poor sinner who has to quake at the idea of the accounting of himself that he will have to make for a life of almost eighty years.
Up to November 1868, he continued to work with the same diligence. At that time his strength failed, and he kept to his room. During his three-month illness he never ceased to edify by his patience and piety. God gave him – full of merit as he was – the grace of ending his long life with great calm – evidence of his trust in Him Whom he had served with so much zeal. He died on February 18th at half past two, aged seventy-nine and two months, perfectly at peace and expressing the desire of doing God’s will in dying as he had tried to do it through his life. [This was] a truly priestly attitude quite appropriate for us to cultivate in ourselves and for bolstering us in our quest for humility, obedience, and the union with the will of God that this worthy confrere strove for with such perfect perseverance.
I ask for him the customary prayers. I am, Fathers and very dear confreres, in sentiments of the sincerest fellowship
Superior of St. Sulpice