Perth Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey has released his memoirs, the title of which was inspired by his continuing connection with Western Australia’s Goldfields region. Source: The eRecord.
My Spirit Land, Archbishop Hickey said, was inspired by the region described as “the most beautiful part of the world”.
“It looked dry and uninviting, until you got close and found that it was full of life . . . with beetles and lizards and spiders,” Archbishop Hickey said.
“My spirit land of the Goldfields reminded me so much of the presence of God in nature, and the presence of God among us.
“I thought that the wilderness was spiritual, and the wild animals, the camels, the emus, were all part of nature which reflected the goodness of God.”
Born in Leonora in 1936, Archbishop Emeritus Hickey was educated at Presentation Convent in Wiluna. His family later moved to Kalgoorlie while his father, Gregory Hickey, worked as a public servant in the mining industry, with Archbishop Emeritus Hickey going on to attend Christian Brothers College Kalgoorlie.
It was in the Goldfields where he developed a desire to enter the priesthood, after deciding a career working in the mines was not his calling.
He then attended St Charles Seminary in Guildford in 1950 before attending Rome’s Urbaniana University in 1955. Ordained to the priesthood in Rome, he was appointed as bishop of Geraldton in 1984. In 1991, he was named Archbishop of Perth and served in the position for 21 years.
Perth Archbishop Tim Costelloe SDB said the “instinct” that prompted Archbishop Hickey to write his memoirs was not “the experience of desolation and the absence of God, but rather the realisation that the long story of his life and of his ministry as priest and bishop reveals the wonderful, sometimes surprising and unexpected, but always challenging presence of the Spirit of God, leading him forward, step-by-step”.
“In doing so, he is helping us to reflect on the way in which God might be accompanying us step-by-step along our journey of life.”
Archbishop Emeritus Hickey launches memoirs inspired by memories, history and experiences (By Jamie O’Brien, The eRecord)