WEST HARTFORD – Sister Maris Stella Hickey (Mary Teresa), a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, West Hartford, died at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford on April 24, 2015. She was 83 and was in her 66th year of religious life.
She was born in Hartford on Dec. 10, 1931, a daughter of the late James Vincent and Helen (Collins) Hickey. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 15, 1949, and professed her perpetual vows on Aug. 24, 1955.
Sister Maris Stella received a bachelor’s degree in education from the Diocesan Sisters College; a master’s degree in French language and literature from Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.; and further studies in Spanish and German at Fairfield University and in French literature at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Sister Maris Stella taught at South Catholic High School in Hartford and Sacred Heart Academy in Stamford, and later became principal of the latter. Then she served as general councilor for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry in Rome. In this capacity, she was part of an international team that revised the community’s constitution to reflect the vision and spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
Sister Maris Stella was also executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, provincial councilor for her congregation, spiritual life coordinator for the Archdiocese of Hartford’s school office, executive director of Jubilee House in Hartford and co-director of Creative Life Services for the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Maris Stella founded Jubilee House as a neighborhood center to address the needs of the refugee and immigrant communities of the south end of Hartford.
Sister Maris Stella is survived by her religious community; her sister, Frances Covaleski; a niece; a nephew; a grandniece; and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Father James V. Hickey.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 29 in St. Joseph Chapel at the Convent of Mary Immmaculate. Interment followed on April 29 in the Sisters of St. Joseph Cemetery.
Donations in Sister Maris Stella’s memory may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 27 Park Rd., West Hartford, CT 06119.