James Nicolicchia, age 89, died Nov. 16, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. Father was born in Brooklyn, NY, on March 2, 1932, the son of James and Caroline (née Panebiano) Nicolicchia. He was baptized at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Brooklyn on June 26, 1932, and attended grammar school in Randolph, NJ from 1939-47. He graduated from Nutley High School in Nutley, NJ in 1951, and enrolled in the U.S. Navy on June 26, 1951. He was on active duty in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean until May 19, 1955, then in the U.S. Naval Reserve until June 25, 1959.
On the night of April 26, 1952, while serving onboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, Father Nicolicchia was an eyewitness to the worst non-combat accident in US Naval history since World War I, when the destroyer USS Hobson collided with the USS Wasp, broke in two and sank with the loss of 176 of her crew in less than 5 minutes.
Father Nicolicchia enrolled in Providence College as a Preparatory Student of the Dominican Order in 1956, and entered the novitiate at St. Joseph Priory in Somerset, OH in 1958, receiving the religious name Andrew. He was simply professed on August 16, 1959, and went on to study Philosophy at St. Stephen Priory in Dover, MA from 1959-62, received his BA from Providence College, and studied Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, from 1962-66. He was solemnly professed on August 16, 1962 and on June 10, 1965 was ordained to the Priesthood at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, DC by the Most Reverend William J. McDonald, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.
Father Nicolicchia always served in the parish ministry, first at St. Dominic’s Church in Youngstown, OH and Holy Innocents in Pleasantville, NY. From 1966-74, he was parochial vicar at St. Dominic’s Church in Detroit, MI and from 1974-79 at Sacred Heart Church in Jersey City, NJ. He was a parochial vicar at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, DC from 1979-86 and from 1986-2000 at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne, NY. He returned to St. Dominic’s in Washington to assist in the parish until 2015, when he transferred to the Center for Assisted Living.
Father Nicolicchia’s quiet fidelity to the pastoral ministry earned him the affection and respect of the people atall the parishes he served, particularly St. Dominic’s in Washington, where he served the longest. When St. Dominic’s Priory became a house of formation for the deacons in the province, Fr. Nicolicchia was there to give them an example of devotion to the priestly life. His encyclopedic knowledge of classical music, and large collection of recordings available on loan, was a source of interest and pleasure to his brethren.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, Nov. 22, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick Church, 280 N. Grant Ave. where the Office of the Dead will be recited at 9:00 a.m. Burial at St. Joseph Cemetery, Somerset, Ohio. Arrangements by EGAN-RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 403 E. BROAD ST.