I Hope to Help – Pat Hickey
I Hope to Help – Pat Hickey

“If you would make a man happy, study not to augment his goods; but to diminish his wants. One of the greatest services Christianity has rendered the world has been its consecration of poverty, and its elevation of labor to the dignity of a moral duty.” ~Orestes Brownson

My name is Pat Hickey, and I will be writing articles for Illinois Family Institute and Illinois Family Action.

I am an active retiree. My kids are grown, happy and working. I enjoy good health and great company with lovely people. My worldview is essentially the same as it was when I began teaching in 1975: Treat every person with welcoming respect until they act otherwise, and know that you are not all that important. Jimmy Carter does not and did not care to hear my opinion on trilateral global banking any more than Ronald Reagan. Dang; it’s a honey too.

As such, I have tried to make life better for people by teaching high school English. The great conversation is a wonderful way to reinforce the values of their parents via the great literature of our Western culture.

I was raised in Chicago but learned to love the world south of I- 80: Kankakee, Papineau, L’Rable, Martinon, Herscher, Watseeka, Hoopeston . . .

I taught for fourteen years in Kankakee and learned just how wonderful all of rural Illinois is. People raise their children to work hard, speak the truth, and only quit when they’re being lowered in the ground.

Recently, I was substitute-teaching theology to five sections of juniors and freshmen in a Chicago Catholic boys high school and I asked my students, if anyone had ever heard of Orestes Brownson, Bishop Bernard Sheil, or Saint Mother Cabrini.

Not one student out of 176 in five sections had ever heard of any one of those three people–the last is Chicago’s only Roman Catholic saint. She was an Italian immigrant and opened 67 schools, orphanages, and hospitals for the poor in New York, Denver , Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Chicago. There is no toll road honoring her work. Catholic students have never heard of her. That is no shock.  Many teachers and administrators have never heard of her either.

Orestes Brownson is buried in the crypt of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. All 176 gents knew all about Notre Dame but did not know that one of greatest minds in American history was buried there.

Bishop Sheil created the American Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) which produced boxing champions Joe Louis, Billy Conn, Tony Zale, Mohammad Ali, and Kevin Rooney, but he also provided all of the social justice infrastructure that is now called Catholic Charities.

I was delighted to introduce these great people to 176 young males. The guys ate it up. They asked why Jane Addams is more important than St. Frances Cabrini.  That is how we fight back, neighbors. We tell truth and the young minds will understand. They wondered why Bishop Sheil is never mentioned in their St. Mary’s Press “social justice” textbook. How about that. Che Guevara, Cesar Chaves, and Dorothy Day all made the cut but not the orthodox Catholic priest who wanted boys and girls to become great Americans.

One of my concerns as a citizen and a teacher is the erasing of history in the country and, more important, the denial of universal truths, for example, that only a man and woman can bring about the birth of child according to nature and God’s plan.

We live in crazy times. I attribute this to our universities which have become social-engineering laboratories where truth is agreed upon and inquiry only ‘proves’ satisfying outcomes, like we are equal but some are more equal than others.

Illinois Family Institute and Illinois Family Action have been pushing back at these trends, especially on issues like abortion, sexuality, and state-insistence on raising our kids.

I hope that I might add my voice to this work and look forward to learning from all of you.

We can put things right in Illinois once again. Let’s do it for our families.

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