Published December 7, 2017
CONYERS—Father Jerome Hickey, OCSO, a Cistercian monk of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, died Wednesday, Nov. 22. He was 87.
He endured a period of illness that confined him to the monastery’s infirmary for 13 years, the last seven of which he was bedridden. He was an example of long-suffering patience as he persisted through years of health struggles cheerfully.
Father Jerome was born Nov. 14, 1930, in Westmont, New Jersey. He entered the monastery in Conyers in 1950, made solemn profession in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1959.
He had a debilitating condition of a double cleft lip and cleft palate, and people could barely understand his speech. A doctor, a friend of the monastery, performed reconstructive surgery, which improved his speech. Before Father Jerome entered monastic life at the age of 20, he had a difficult life at home and school because of his disabilities.
Much of his work was helping with metal work in the construction of the monastery. He shaped rebar and also worked with pipe fitting for heating and air-conditioning, later expanding to electrical and carpentry work.
Father Jerome had a great love for Scripture. He studied languages extensively and taught Greek, Latin and Hebrew to scholastics in the 1970s and 80s. He loved the Japanese culture and calligraphy, and worked with leather in hand-covering books.
Father Jerome is survived by his sister, Patricia Truran, of Haddon Township, New Jersey.
A funeral Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated Nov. 28, and interment followed.
Condolences and memorial offerings may be sent to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Highway 212, SW, Conyers, GA 30094.