Members of the diocesan faith community will come together in Midland on Friday, October 24 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of Cardinal James Hickey (photographed right giving Communion to Mother Teresa). The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, will celebrate the Mass at 5:30 p.m. at St. Brigid of Kildare, 207 Ashman St., in Midland.
James Aloysius Hickey was born in Midland, Mich. on Oct. 11, 1920, to James P. and Agnes Hickey. He grew up attending St. Brigid of Kildare parish and school, before entering the seminary at age 13. He studied at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Grand Rapids and Sacred Heart Seminary College in Detroit. While at seminary, he was assigned to provide pastoral care to migrant workers. This was the beginning of a lifetime of commitment to bettering the plight of immigrants.
He received his license in theology from the Catholic University of America and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Saginaw on June 15, 1946. Father Hickey attended the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965 as a “theological expert” and, in 1967, Pope Paul VI appointed him as auxiliary bishop of Saginaw. In 1969, Bishop Hickey was named rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he served until 1974. He then returned to the United States as bishop of Cleveland. He was re-appointed as archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 1980 and elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Cardinal Hickey died on Oct. 24, 2004.