Today was a busy day and a sad day.  We had the funeral Mass for my sister-in-law at St. Mary in Griffith.  It was bittersweet to see some of the family get together because we do that so rarely and it seems doubly sad that we generally get together at times of death.

This morning began very sad and disturbing.   The entire diocese received an email from the bishop’s office informing us of an imminent press release announcing Bishop Hying’s appointment as the new bishop of the Diocese of Madison.  He was named to the Diocese of Gary at the end of 2014 and took possession of the diocese in January of 2015.  We’ve only had him for a little over four years.  Not fair!

After all the disturbing things of the day, though, we had a bright spot — THIS GUY:

Deacon Joe Stodola turned 80 years old today and we gathered for a surprise birthday party for him catered by Philippe at Howard and Sons.  Deacon Joe’s favorite meal is meatloaf so we had the caterer make “comfort food”:  roast pork, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a mixed blend of vegetables.  This afternoon, I went to Butterfingers and got his favorite cake: double chocolate mousse and Joyce’s favorite cake: raspberry lemon cake.

It might have been a bittersweet event for Deacon Joe since I got him here under the auspices of going to Chicago to see a musical.  Oh well.  Sorry for the lie, Joe.  I’ll go to confession soon.  🙂

Happy Birthday, Deacon Joe.  We love you!


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