Father Chris Hickey grew up in the Hyde Park section of Boston. He does not like it being confused with other neighborhoods such as Roslindale, West Roxbury or Jamaica Plain. After high school, he was a Boston Police Cadet for three years. However, he responded to a call for a higher public service and entered Saint John’s Seminary.
He was ordained to the priesthood in May of 1994. Father Chris’ first assignment was in Maynard's Saint Bridget Parish. His next assignment was at Saint Mary Parish in Dedham, where he founded the Life Teen program. It became the model for Life Teen programs in the Archdiocese of Boston. After serving at Saint Mary’s for seven years, he was appointed pastor of Saint William Parish in Dorchester.
Father Chris was appointed pastor at Saint Mary of the Sacred Heart Parish in Hanover in September of 2004, where he has been since. On his days off, Father Chris enjoys golfing, hanging out with friends, and spending time with his mother, family of ten and their extended family. Father Chris’ favorite memories of Life Teen are travels to see the Pope with hundreds of teens at World Youth Day events. He has led parish pilgrimages with Life Teen groups to Paris, Rome, Toronto, Germany, and Australia.
One of Father Chris's other attributes is his love of laughter and singing. He has combined these two traits on the CatholicTV Network series Going My Way. Sometime in the nineties, the idea for what has become the CatholicTV hit variety series indirectly came from the late Monsignor Frank McFarland, director of the network for 25 years. He half-seriously suggested to Father Hickey that he should have his own series. Between the busyness of Father Hickey's work creating one of the largest Life Teen programs anywhere and other parish duties, the concept of the show lingered but never materialized. When Father Frank (as he is best known to the CatholicTV audience) was called to God unexpectedly in 2001, Monsignor Paul McInerny became the director and the idea was floated his way. Father Hickey jokes, "Monsignor McInerney said 'giving Chris Hickey his own show would be like giving a monkey a machine gun' so it was dismissed". Along came the current director of CatholicTV, Father Robert Reed and the third try was truly a charm. "The church has gone through some tough times and I was open to finding new ways to shine a positive light back on the priesthood. When Father Chris and Father Paul (Rouse) came to me with the idea, I was all for it." says Father Reed. "It may have been one of the easiest decisions I ever had to make."
So Father Hickey and his mentor-turned sidekick, Father Paul Rouse finalized their idea for the show and started taping in the summer of 2005. Father Hickey and Father Rouse have been singing together since the younger Hickey was a seminarian. They often performed together with other priests at parishes around the Archdiocese of Boston for fundraisers. On the show, Rouse plays piano and Hickey sings along. In between songs, the animated Father Chris adds his humor while Father Paul always has something quietly funny to respond back. Add a third priest to the mix and the dynamic results are often dynamite.
The show's goal is to showcase another side of the priesthood that the people in the pew might not otherwise see. Their brother priests agreed and helped the series start and flourish to the point where there are over 70 shows. Over the years, over 60 priests and even a few laity have appeared on the show. Priests from all over the home diocese of CatholicTV, the Archdiocese of Boston have appeared on the show with visiting priests from as far away as the Diocese of Reno as well. Father Reed has appeared as a guest on the show more than any other priest. He has taped a Christmas special, an episode featuring only spiritual songs and filled in for or stood along "shier" priests. As they carry on making new shows, Father Hickey and Father Rouse are committed to the show's original goal of having some fun while entertaining viewers and showing off one of the many positives of priestly life.