Hickey, Raymond M. (Monsignor)

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                                     MONSIGNOR RAYMOND M. HICKEY
                                 Pastor, Author to be Freeman of the Town
                                      By Frederick F. Moar

CHATHAM – Monsignor Raymond M. Hickey is to be made a freeman of Chatham. This was announced Monday at the monthly meeting of Chatham town council. No date has yet been set for the ceremony.

Father Hickey was born in Jacquet River, Restigouche County and attended the local schools. He also attended St. Thomas University and Holy Heart Seminary, in Chatham and Halifax, respectively.

After his ordination in 1933, he did ministry in Bathurst, Campbellton and Chatham. For three years prior to the Second World War he was on the faculty of St. Thomas University.

Father Hickey joined the Canadian Armed Forces in June 1940 and was appointed Roman Catholic chaplain in the rank of captain and attached to the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment of the Third Canadian Division.

His six years of military service as an army chaplain was a great experience. He won the Military Cross for outstanding bravery and example at St. Aubin-sur-mer on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He was an example to all ranks by his coolness in battle and his concern for his fellow man, be it a colonel or a private. He was invested by the late King George VI at Buckingham Palace on July 5, 1945.

Father Hickey returned to Canada and resumed his chosen work. He was pastor at St. Thomas in Campbellton and was later transferred to St. Mary’s in Newcastle where he undertook the building of the new church, near the site of the old, and was pastor when it was consecrated.

During his time Father Hickey found time to write The Scarlet Dawn, a history of his life as a padre in an infantry regiment. This heartwarming narrative of his army days is filled with reminisces sadness, joy, and humour.

In 1956 he was made a domestic prelate with the title of Monsignor. In 1976, his alma mater conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa.

In 1979, Father Hickey represented the Corp. of Chaplains of Canada at the 35th anniversary of the Normandy landings in Normandy, France.

Father Hickey is the author of D-Day Memories, written on his return from France, as well as My Hobbies Three. He also collaborated with the Reader’s Digest in Canadians at War.

Father Hickey resides at Mount St. Joseph Pavilion, Chatham where he has served as chaplain since his retirement from active parish work.

He is working with a committee of veterans from the North Shore Regiment. The group’s objective is to place a monument to the officers and men of that gallant unit who gave their lives during World War II. This monument will be erected in the village of Carpiquet, near the city of Caen in Normandy, France.

Father Hickey has recently taken up the study of the violin and has studied the piano.

He is also an amateur artist and several of his canvasses have been used in his book, My Hobbies Three.

Some years ago, when the North Shore Regimental Veterans Association elected him as their first life member, the address contained the following:

“In the chapel of the hearts of the men of the North Shore, there will always be a lamp in the window of Father Hickey.”

Few men have contributed so much of themselves to their fellowmen as has Father Hickey. It is not coincidence that he was and is known to thousands as “The Beloved Padre.”

Source: Miramichi Leader – March 14, 1986

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