28 Mar Dad’s Life (2 Tim 4:7) by Dr. Pat Castle
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” ~ 2 Tim 4:7 (full readings)
Pat’s Reflections: Without my Dad, our LIFE Group would not exist. This is a salute for Dad’s Life: Joseph E. Castle (26 May 1943 to 26 Mar 2012). Dad’s life-long ministry was service, like his patron St. Joseph. While traveling home, we participated in Dad’s Anointing of the Sick by phone, as we drove past four exit signs for St. Joseph, MO. Coincidence?, I think not. Like St. Joseph, Dad worked hard for his family (leader, provider, protector). After battling throat cancer for several months, Dad had a massive stroke on the Feast of St. Joseph (19 Mar) and passed away peacefully at 3:40 pm on the Feast of Our Lady (26 Mar)…during the Hour of Mercy. So many people were praying for him at that time…thank you. Kathy Forck said the Divine Mercy prayer on the sidewalk of Planned Parenthood at exactly 3:40 pm. Fr. Jonathan St. Andre emailed me at 3:20 pm which inspired me to pray for my Dad. Brother Steve was praying the Rosary at 3:40 pm and saw our blessed Mother walking Dad home to his heavenly Father. Leah Crichton wrote, “I knew it would be on the Feast of Our Lady!” Our entire family was blessed to visit with Dad before he slipped into a coma. Although the doctor wanted us to starve him to death, this was never an option because we respect life from conception to natural death. Without food, he would have passed away sooner and many of the miraculous and redemptive experiences would not have occurred. Mom read this final letter to Dad while he was in the coma. It was a privilege to spend last week with Dad who was aware based on gripping hands, shedding tears and showing expression at the appropriate time. We knelt down around his bed…thanking God for the gift of His son Joseph E. Castle. Listen for Dad’s awesome whistle when you are on your way back Home. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord…and let perpetual light shine upon him…may his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed in the glory of God, rest in peace. Thank you, Lord…Amen…we believe.
* Wake/Funeral details. Obituary and Guest Book. Memorial fund contributions are for the “LIFE Runners” ministry and can be mailed to our LIFE Runner Mom (Kathy Castle) at 2600 W. 31st, Sioux Falls, SD 57105. Photo is at the finish line of the 2007 Black Hills half/full Marathon. See the great joy on Dad’s face with the finish line banner behind him (2 Tim 4:7).
Faith Challenge: Ask your faithful departed for intercessory prayers. I know my Dad will gladly help you. One friend wrote, “I do hope that your dad can give my beautiful angel Benjamin [baby] a kiss and a cuddle for me.” This was my first prayer request for my Dad.
Feast Day: St. John of Egypt.
Faith Quote: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” ~ Matt 4:19.
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion (images) is #1 death cause (23% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.