Father Jerome Hickey, OCSO, monk of the Cistercian (Trappist) Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia died peacefully in the monastery infirmary on Wednesday, November 22nd, after a lengthy illness. He endured a long period of illness that confined him to our infirmary for the past 13 years, the last seven of which were bedridden. He was a great example of long-suffering patience as he endured his many years of health struggles and who did so cheerfully.
Father Jerome was born on November 14, 1930, in Westmont, New Jersey. He entered Conyers in 1950, made solemn profession in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1959. Father Jerome was 87 years old, had been in monastic vows for 60 years and 58 years a priest when the Lord called him.
The celebration of the Funeral Mass of the Resurrection and the burial will be on Tuesday, November 28th at 9:00 AM at the monastery church.
Jerome grew up in Westmont, New Jersey and entered the Monastery in 1950. He had a debilitating condition of a double cleft lip and cleft palate - people could barely understand his speech. A doctor, a friend of the Monastery, did a massive reconstructive surgery which improved not only his appearance but also his speech. Understandably before Jerome entered monastic life at the age of 20, he had a rough life both at home and at school because of these disabilities.
Much of his work at the Monastery was helping especially with the metal work in the building of the monastery. He shaped a lot of rebar in his days. He also worked with pipe fitting for the heating and air and later expanded to both electrical and carpentry work. Father Jerome had a great love for Scripture especially given his patron St Jerome. He had a love for languages thus he did extensive studies and later taught Greek, Latin, and Hebrew to our scholastics in the 70's and 80's. He was a rather meticulous person perhaps a reason why he loved the Japanese culture and calligraphy so much. He also worked with leather especially in hand covering books that he loved.
Father Jerome was an extremely passionate person and was known to have a temper in his younger years. He did have some strong friendships and was known for his loyalty. On the inside, though he was very shy and sentimental and could weep easily over the loss of family and friends. He also had a large smile and even bigger laugh though he didn't often show it. Our nurse Rose said he was a gracious patient over his many years in the infirmary. She remembers him as prayerful, patient, cheerful, and grateful for his care with a sense of humor that allowed him to laugh at himself. Father Jerome is survived by his 82-year-old sister Patricia Truran of Haddon Township, New Jersey.
Condolences and Memorial offerings may be sent in Fr. Jerome’s memory to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Highway 212 SW, Conyers, GA 30094.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. John 3:16