A funeral Mass for Msgr. John J. Hickel, a retired parish pastor and former administrator of Duchesne High School in St. Charles, will be celebrated Thursday, Nov. 12, with visitation at 9:30 a.m. at St. Ambrose Church in St. Louis. Msgr. Hickel, 91, died Nov. 3.
Born in St. Louis, Msgr. Hickel attended Cathedral Latin School, St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, Kenrick Seminary and Saint Louis University. He was ordained in 1955 by Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter.
Msgr. Hickel was the founding pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in St. Charles. He served as dean of the St. Charles Deanery for two terms, from 1989-95. He also served as archdiocesan coordinator of the St. Louis Marian Conference.
Following ordination, Msgr. Hickel was assigned as assistant pastor of St. Patrick Parish in St. Louis from 1955-61 while serving at Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis from 1955-60, teaching American history and coaching football and soccer. He was administrator of Rosati-Kain High School from 1960-61. He served as administrator of Duchesne High School from 1961-75. During that time, he was a part-time assistant pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Cottleville from 1964-65, St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish in Bridgeton from 1965-70 and St. Charles Borromeo Parish in St. Charles from 1970-75.
Msgr. Hickel served as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in St. Charles from 1975-96 and pastor of St. Paul Parish in St. Paul from 1996-2013. He retired in 2013. During Msgr. Hickel’s tenure as pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the parish grew quickly. Many organizations were founded that made St. Elizabeth a vibrant parish family.