DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     May 19, 1999     vol. 10, no. 97


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      This new feature that we introduce today will spotlight each member of the Conclave. We find this necessary as our dear Sovereign Pontiff Pope John Paul II grows older, clinging to hope, as we join him, of seeing the light of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart with the dawn of the new millennium - the Jubilee Year 2000. How much longer this 264th successor of Peter has left on this earth only God knows for sure, but His Divine Mercy is evident in allowing him to be with us this long for he truly is a saint for our times, truly Christ's Vicar on earth in these waning days before the glorious Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Time of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Second Advent, the Age of the Holy Spirit. What 1999 will bring we have no idea, nor does anyone else, but with John Paul II at the helm, we feel much more secure in knowing God's Will will be done. Nevertheless, we want to preview the future Pope whether that be soon or much, much later, for no one lives forever and eventually one of those prelates will be selected as the 265th successor of Peter. This will give the reader a better insight into the man whom the Holy Spirit will move the conclave to choose. Thus we bring the reader vignettes on each cardinal in alphabetical order gleaned from the Catholic Almanac, Inside the Vatican and other sources.

55.   Cardinal James A. Hickey

          Presently the Archbishop of our nation's capitol, Cardinal James A. Hickey was born on October 11, 1920 in Midland, Michigan making him just five months younger than the Holy Father who was born May 18 of the same year in Wadowicz, Poland. After minor seminary and novitiate, Cardinal Hickey attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C. before being ordained on June 15, 1946 in the Saginaw Diocese. He was sent by his diocese to Rome where achieved two Doctorates - one in Canon Law from the Lateran University and the other in Theology from the Angelicum. Equipped with these sheepskins he returned home where he was appointed Secretary to the Bishop of Saginaw in 1957. Because of his expertise in teaching and formation, he founded and presided over the St. Paul Seminary and was chosen one of the experts or Periti at Vatican II. Following this Ecumenical Council Pope Paul VI recognized his potential and named him titular bishop of Taraqua on February 18, 1967 and Auxiliary Bishop of Saginaw two months later on April 17.

          A year and a half later he was elected President of the US Bishops' Conference Committee on the Priesthood on October 31, 1968. Less than six months later he was on his way to Rome again to assume his new position as President of the North American Pontifical College there. He remained in this post until May 31, 1974 when he was transfered from Saginaw to the Cleveland Diocese becoming Bishop of Cleveland. After six years in the city on Lake Erie, Pope John Paul II tabbed him to become Archbishop of Washington D.C. on June 17, 1980. He was installed at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on August 5, 1980.

          In his fourth Consistory, John Paul II named Archbishop Hickey to receive the cardinalate on June 28, 1988. He was bestowed the titular church of St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer. Since then he has been active on various curia offices including the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Congregation for the Clergy as well as the Pontifical Council for the Family.

          Both Cardinal Hickey and his peers Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and Cardinal John O'Connor are facing the mandatory retirement age and thus the Church is going to lose three very active, loyal Princes of the Church; Cardinal Bevilacqua for his eleven years as lead shepherd of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Cardinal O'Connor for his fifteen plus years as Archbishop of New York and Cardinal Hickey for his nearly twenty years as head of the very difficult political diocese of Washington, D.C. His motto is Veritatem in caritate meaning "truth in love" for he strongly believes the Magisterium of the Church does not exist solely to preach theological theories but to transmit the truth with love and a caring heart. He resides inside the Beltline at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center at 5001 Eastern Avenue in Washington, D.C.

May 19, 1999       volume 10, no. 97


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