Monsignor Francis (Frank) Hickey (SPC 1942-43)

May 13, 2024

Monsignor Frank Hickey.

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Old Collegian Monsignor Francis (Frank) Hickey (SPC 1942-43) peacefully in Nagambie on 9 May 2024, aged 97 years, and in the 73rd year of his priestly ministry.

Mons Frank Hickey.

Monsignor Frank served as a priest in seven parishes of the Diocese of Sandhurst: Yarrawonga, Beechworth, Myrtleford, Kerang, Wangaratta, Wodonga, South Shepparton. He also served as the Episcopal Vicar for education from 1980 to 1984 in the early 1980s and was Dean of the North East in the late 1980s.

In an announcement made last week, the Bishop of Sandhurst, Shane Mackinlay (SPC 1977-82) asked for people to join him in prayers so that “Mons Frank might now enter the fullness of God’s life, after his long years of faithful service, and that his family and friends might be comforted in their sadness”.

While he was never officially appointed as a priest at Nagambie, St Malachy’s parishioners dearly appreciated his gentle presence among them throughout the 22 years of his retirement.

In August 2021, the Parish of Nagambie celebrated Mons Frank’s 70th Jubilee as a way to thank him for his devoted service to their parish.

He was a well-known figure at the town’s masses, baptisms, weddings, funerals, confirmations and other celebrations alongside parish priest Fr Tony Hill at the time. Read this tribute by parishioner Anne Close here

Mons Frank Hickey, pictured front row centre, with his parents and siblings.

Frank Hickey’s vocation was celebrated in the 1943-44 College Annual.

Mons Frank was remembered for his great sense of humour.

Mons Frank was ordained as a priest on 22 July 1951 and retired at the age of 75 from full-time ministry.

Francis, or Frank as he is known, was born in Shepparton and raised in a family of eight children. He attended SPC in the early 1940s and it was while he was at school that a talk by a visiting religious brother helped Frank realise his calling was to become a priest. He then joined several other SPC students to commence studies at Corpus Christi in 1944 and was ordained in Shepparton on July 22, 1951.

Mons Frank became a much-loved priest who is described as a “man with a great sense of humour who always gave a hundred and ten per cent of himself to those he served”.

His life as a child and then as a priest is also recorded in this fitting tribute, which you can read further here