Joseph A. Hickey, O.S.A.

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1883 – 1955 (July 9)

Joseph A. Hickey, son of James Hickey and Margaret Dawson, was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 30, 1883. He attended Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania in 1898, and entered the novitiate there on March 17, 1902. He made his simple profession of vows on March 18, 1903, and solemn profession of April 12, 1906. Two years later he was sent to the International College of Saint Monica in Rome to continue his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained in Rome on December 22, 1906. After ordination, he remained in Rome to do graduate work in Canon Law for which he was granted a doctorate in 1908.

Father Hickey then returned to the United States and was assigned to the newly established St. Rita’s High School in Chicago, Illinois. In 1910, he became Rector of St. Rita’s Hall, the preparatory seminary at Villanova, and also a professor at the College. He was appointed Provincial Regent of Studies in 1913, Definitor in 1914, and Provincial Socius and Secretary in 1918.

Father Hickey became the first Prior of St. Mary’s Hall at Villanova in 1921, and held this post until he was appointed President of Villanova College in January 1925. At the General Chapter of September 1925, he was named Assistant General for the English-speaking provinces. From that time until 1953, except for the war years, he lived in Rome. At the General Chapter of 1947, Father Hickey was elected Prior-General of the Order. During his term of office, Collegio Saint Monica was completely remodeled and the new Curia building was erected. In 1953, after completing his term as Prior-General, he retired to the Villanova Monastery. He was 72 when he died on July 9, 1955 in Bryn Mawr Hospital. He is buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.