Sr. Rita Marie Hickey, OSC passed away at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center on January 25, 2023 following a lengthy illness. Sister was a member of the Order of St. Clare at St. Clare Monastery in New Orleans for almost 38 years. She was born in Teaneck, NJ. and grew up in Tenafly, NJ. Sr. Rita is the daughter of the late Thomas Hickey and the late Lucy Madden Hickey. She is survived by her sister Judy Hickey Tierney, nephew Billy Tierney and niece Ann Marie Espinosa.
Sr. Rita began her religious life as a Sister of Charity of Convent Station, NJ. After coming South as a civil rights worker, she served for several years in Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama, as teacher and principal. After leaving the Sisters of Charity, she taught religion at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Alabama, and then served in the admissions office at Spring Hill College, also in Mobile.
Sr. Rita entered the New Orleans monastery in 1985. She served the community in many capacities over the years, as vocation director, formation director, Councilor, and sacristan. Sister was very creative, enjoyed cooking, gardening, making ceramics and ornaments for our gift shop, and was well known for her “N’awlins Belles”. In later years, Sr. Rita was also active in an interfaith group that studied the Koran.
Visitation will be at St. Clare Monastery, 720 Henry Clay Ave., New Orleans, LA on Saturday February 4, 2023. There will be a short prayer service at 8 AM followed by Visitation until 10 AM. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10 AM followed by interment in the Mortuary Chapel on the monastery grounds.