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David Francis Hickey Edit Profile

bishop , priest

David Francis Hickey, American clergyman. Joined Society of Jesus (Jesuit), 1902, ordained priest Roman Catholic Church, 1917.


Hickey, David Francis was born on December 3, 1882 in St. Louis. Son of John and Catherine (Walsh) Hickey.


AB, St. Saint Louis University, 1907;Master of Arts, St. Saint Louis University, 1909;Doctor of Laws honoris causa, Marquette U., 1952.


He served as the Vicar Apostolic and then the first Bishop of Belize, from 1948-1957. As Mission superior he encouraged Frs. Marion M. Ganey and Henry Sutti in their foundational work with cr unions and cooperatives in Belize.

On June 10, 1948, Pope Pius XII appointed Hickey as Titular Bishop of Bonitza and Vicar Apostolic of Belize (British Honduras). He was consecrated a bishop by Archbishop Joseph Ritter on September 21, 1948, with principal co-consecrators William McCarty of Rapid City and Edward Daly of Des Moines. Hickey presided over a vicariate where, in 1949, 35,263 of 59,220 inhabitants (60%) were Catholic.

There were 9 parishes and 109 mission stations, 28 priests of which 24 were Jesuits, and 96 religious Sisters. Besides the usual circuit of confirming the faithful and the construction of churches and schools, he fostered the spread of the cr union and cooperative movement which became an ecumenical venture in Belize and beyond. In the Holy Year 1950 Hickey encouraged Crusades of Prayer that injected new life into “the cooperative movement, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Boy Scouts, and into the various educational activities.”Bishop Hickey saw toward the end of his episcopacy the raising of Belize from vicariate status to that of a diocese.

It would no longer be a mission church under patronage of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples but became a diocese with its own bishop. For the occasion of Hickey’s installation as first Bishop of Belize on February 29, 1956, papal nuncio Archbishop Luigi Raimondi visited Belize. The following year, at seventy-four, Hickey submitted his resignation and it was accepted effective July 13, 1957.

On March 13, 1958, Robert Louis Hodapp, SJ, was named his successor and second Bishop of Belize.


  • Joined Society of Jesus (Jesuit), 1902, ordained priest Roman Catholic Church, 1917.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 3, 1882, David Hickey was ordained a priest for the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) on June 27, 1917. He came to the Belize mission in 1926 and served as principal at St. John’s College, pastor of the Cathedral, Jesuit superior, and vicar general. While Jesuit superior he fostered group action to attain economic security through education and Catholic social action.

Sixty-three schools run by the Catholic church had a total of 7,039 students.


John Hickey

Catherine (Walsh) Hickey