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Lifelong love for the poor

WASHINGTON (CNS): Cardinal James A. Hickey, the retired Archbishop of Washington who made Catholic education and service to the poor two of his top priorities during his years in the US capital, died on October 24 after a long illness. He was 84.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who succeeded Cardinal Hickey in 2000 as Washington’s archbishop, was scheduled to celebrate a funeral Mass for his predecessor this weekend at the national shrine.

In a telegram to Cardinal McCarrick, Pope John Paul II recalled Cardinal Hickey’s “unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel, the teaching of the faith and the formation of future priests”.

A statement by US President George W. Bush called the late prelate “an inspirational leader who brought comfort to the sick and hope to those in need”.

He was named Archbishop of Washington in 1980 and in the years ahead developed an outreach that included rising homelessness, a growing elderly population and a need for new parishes and schools as the area’s increasingly diverse population grew steadily.

He was made a cardinal in 1988.

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