Hickey, Joseph Aloysius

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Prior general of the Order of St. Augustine; b. Chicago, Ill., May 30, 1883; d. Villanova, Pa., July 9, 1955. His parents, James and Margaret (Dawson) Hickey, died while Joseph was a child, and he was raised by Maurice J. Dorney, pastor of St. Gabriel's Church in Chicago. For his secondary and college education Hickey went to Villanova College (now University), where he joined the Augustinians. He made his profession on March 18, 1903, and the following year he was sent to the Augustinian International College of St. Monica in Rome, where he was ordained on Dec. 22, 1906. Two years later he earned the degree of doctor of Canon Law at the Apollinaris. On his return to the U.S., he was assigned briefly to Chicago. Following a provincial chapter in 1910, he went to the principal Augustinian community at Villanova, where between 1910 and 1925, he became rector of postulants, provincial representative at the general chapter in Rome (1913), regent of studies, provincial definitor (counselor), provincial secretary, prior of the seminary Corr Hall, and president of Villanova College. At a general chapter in 1925 in Rome, Hickey was elected fourth assistant general. He held this office for more than 20 years, during which time he also held posts as rector of the International College and professor of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. On April 26, 1947, he was elected prior general, becoming the first U.S. Augustinian to hold that office. As prior general (194753) he was responsible for reorganizing the Augustinian Order during the aftermath of World War II, especially in Italy. He performed also numerous services in Rome for both the Holy See and the Augustinian Order, acting as consultor, later as commissary, of the Congregation of the Sacraments, and as apostolic visitator to several religious communities. Upon completion of his term of office he returned to the U.S.

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