Sister Janaan Hickie, OSF died Monday, June 11, 2018, at Clare House in the 64th year of her religious life.
Janaan was born to Leo and Marie (Schmitt) Hickie on March 9, 1931, in Graf, Iowa.
Her earliest memory of her mother and father was how religious they were. Her mother would bless the children with the sign of the cross on the forehead before they went to sleep. She remembered her father leading the rosary and not being able to go out to play ball until the rosary was said. When the family of eight (mom, dad, five girls, and one boy) moved to Dubuque, they lived on Central Avenue. Janaan was in third grade and attended Holy Ghost School.
As a youngster, Janaan would play “church” in the backyard. Playing the role of the priest, she would give homilies, hear confessions, and make wafers out of bread for communion. Janaan thought this was the start of her vocation. She really wanted to be a priest, but she knew in her heart that it wouldn’t happen for women. After graduating from high school, Janaan worked at the butter company, the telephone company, and she had a Buyer’s Guide route, selling calendars to save money to buy a car. With all these resources she was able to buy a car, a small Chevy. She also worked for a dentist, Dr. McKlosky, who gave her free dental care.
Janaan entered the convent on August 25, 1953, and was received with the name Sister Mary Cassian in August of 1954. From 1956 to 1970, she ministered as a homemaker to the Sisters she lived with in Waterloo, Bode, Cascade, Ashton, and Ossian, all in Iowa. It was in 1970 that she found a new ministry. Janaan volunteered at Operation New View and later worked there full time. She also worked as a teacher’s aide in the Head Start Program. After some years, she started a program called “Junking for Jesus.”
Sister Janaan retired to Holy Family Hall in 1995 and in 2011 moved into Clare House.
Sister is survived by her sisters Frances “Fran” Adams, Mary Jo Herzog, Leanne Horsfall, and Karen (Lynn) Kurt, nieces and nephews, and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared over 63 years of her life.
Sister was preceded in death by her parents, her brother and sister-in-law Leo Jr. (Bud) and Sue Hickie, and brothers-in-law William Herzog and Bernard (Bernie) Horsfall.