I am glad that you decided to stop by for visit!

While I’m not promising earth-shattering posts, I hope that you will find these ponderings reflective and interesting. If nothing else, I hope that this blog will help keep me in contact with my many friends, family, and parishioners over the course of my recovery from my kidney transplant surgery.  Over the years, I have been blessed to encounter and come to call so many people – “friend” – in so many places – that a blog seemed like a natural fit to convey to you how surgery and recovery are going.

You may be wondering how I’m came up with the title for this blog – so here’s the explanation:  As you know, Catholics call our priests “Father” and many of you, over the years, have started to call me “Padre” – that being Spanish for “father”.  It’s a great nickname and a reminder of the gift that God has given to me.  In addition to that, I spent a little over two great years as a Police Chaplain to the men and women of the Stow Police Department and while there, I had the unit number of “960”.  So, when it came time for a name, I merged together two great aspects of my life – my priesthood and the daily praying that I still do for the men and women of SPD!  Stay safe out there…

Over the next month, I know that my life is going to change – for the better! I was diagnosed with kidney disease as a child and most recently, particularly, in the last year and a half, I have dealt with its progression speeding up. Currently, I’m awaiting a kidney transplant – scheduled for March 10, 2014. My donor is a parishioner of my current parish and needless to say, I’m going to be forever grateful.

Throughout the past year, throughout many health “detours”, one thing has sustained me and that has been the prayerful support of so many people – which, of course, you represent. Coupling this with my strong belief that God walks daily alongside me, I know that great things still lie ahead for me. I’m also aware that “no storm lasts forever” and I have the strong feeling that this one…is about to break up…and the clouds are clearing!



17 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Happy Easter Father JOe, heard the good news of your upcoming kidney transplant! Love, prayers and gratitude for all involved. May the Risen Lord be greater still, in each of you. Alleluia!

  2. Fr. Joe,
    I will share the information with my Edger’s, some of them should remember you from Vacation Bible School.
    Will never forget how the children loved calling you RANGER JOE. I will never forget that.
    Every Monday night my Edgers will offer a healing prayer for you and your donor.

  3. Father Joe
    Thanks for doing this, the blog info was shared in St. Basil’s bulletin on Sunday. Thoughts and prayers going your way.

  4. Father Joe, I am one of Sheryl’s staff members from New Castle. I want you to know that I am calling Frank Kelly to pray for you. I really love hearing about you from Sheryl and I enjoy your blog. Please be assured that we are praying for you, your physicians, your parents and of course your donor. God bless you and surround you with His angels. Carol Gardner-Malizia

  5. Fr. Joe, Please know all of us in New Castle are praying for you and your doctors, and following your blog. my whole office put you In their favorites!! Remember prayers, Love and Patience!

    • My second long distance visitor and first from PA…great to hear from you and even better the assurances of prayers! It has taken and will continue to take prayers, love, and patience…words of great wisdom!

  6. First I need to say we miss you in Stow. Secondly, I really miss you in Stow. Just know that we will be praying for you and wishing you all the best in the next leg or should I say kidney of your journey. Thank you for keeping us informed. Good luck to you.

    Denise and Bill

  7. Fr.Joe,
    Thanks for the updates and the direction to this site. I look forward to your keeping us informed about your journey.
    Your reference to being called “Padre” brought back a humorous event in my past. While in FBI New Agents Training many years ago, we went for our initial firearms training at Quontico, VA. When they told us to fire at the target from a kneeling position, I got down on both knees to do the shooting. Everyone else was down on one knee. The instructor called for everyone to look at the “Padre” on both knees! Needless to say it was somewhat embarrassing and I had a nickname for the rest of the training.
    Wishing you the best.
    Padre Joe McMullin

  8. Fr. Joe,
    The Italians have an expression when faced with challenging events. They say, “in bocca al lupo” which literally means in the mouth of the wolf. It refers to the she wolf protecting her young from harm by picking them up with her mouth and carrying them to safety. We also say “forza” meaning strength. We wish you all the best and God keep you safe and bring you back to us in good health. We love you as our spiritual Shepard and friend.

    Peter and Queenie.

  9. Fr. Joe (OK we secretly refer to you at home as Papa Joe, our spiritual Papa). We Italians have a saying when someone is facing challenging life events. We say “in bocca lupo” which litterally means in the mouth of the wolf. The reference being that the she wolf protects her young when in danger by picking the up with her mouth and carrying them to safety. We also say “Forza” meaning with strength and courage. We wish you both! God Bless you.

  10. Wow, what a great way to keep in contact with you as you recover Fr. Joe! Looking forward to updates as soon as you are able. “Following in the footsteps of our Lord”. Most of all thank you for being such a real person to all of us and great friend to so many!

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