Obituary of Catherine M. DiSchino
Catherine M. (Casaceli) (Sr. M. Joanico SSJ) DiSchino
Greece: October 13, 2018. Cathy was born on December 2, 1946 to Angelo and Jospephine Casaceli. She is predeceased by her parents and father-in-law, Salvatore DiSchino. Cathy was the loving wife of Vincent A. DiSchino; adoring mother of Jodi DiSchino-Lanpher & Chris (Nicole) DiSchino; her precious grandchildren, Andrew, Hailey & Dominic; mother-in-law, Dora DiSchino; sister, Mary Jo (Bob) Miller; sisters-in-law, Annette (Paul) DeCarolis & Mary (Fred) Whalen; loving aunt of Stephen (Diane) Miller, Angel (Joe) Neidert, Louis (Cindy) DeCarolis, John DeCarolis, Jerry DeCarolis & Sally DeCarolis, Michael Whalen & Joe Whalen; great aunt of Joseph Neidert Jr, Mecca Moran, Caelum McCafferty, Michael DeCarolis, Zuraya Long, Nicole DeCarolis & Giana DeCarolis; many wonderful, loving cousins and dear friends, especially Jan Tantalo & Joanna Prota; her RCIA family of St. Lawrence Church.
Cathy’s life story will be shared during visitation, 3-7 PM on Monday, October 15th at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated 9:30 am on Tuesday, October 16th at St. Lawrence Church, 1000 North Greece Rd. Entombment at the convenience of the family. Donations may be a sent to a charity of your choice.
Funeral Mass Eulogy For Cathy DiSchino 10/16/18
If you are a late-middle aged Italian American, with a large emotional family, the last thing on earth you want to be asked is to give the eulogy for an icon of the family, because you know that half the people sitting in front of you could do a better job
I tend to be pretty emotional. You’ve never cried in pain or fear, or even loss. But Perotta's cry when they see the human spirit doing more than the human spirit was intended to do, rising above humanity to near Godliness, and with Cathy DiSchino there is plenty of opportunity to see the human spirit elevated to a near Godly level.
Vince has asked me to do this eulogy, and to use personal experiences I and my family have had with her, but to use those that could wrap into broad strokes that are more characteristic of Cathy in general and of a religious or humanistic nature. I recognize that all of you have your own personal interactions with her, many of which would overlap here. We ask you to share those with us later today at lunch.
Many people who die are deified in death, and I suppose that's appropriate, but Cathy was a truly unique human being worthy of such recognition.
To understand Cathy, you have to see from whence she came. She had an incredible mother who herself suffered illness, and an unbelievable father who would be the definition of a great man. Humble, understated in many ways, incredibly loving and generous. She also had a sister who shared many of her beliefs and passions, and who for the longest time I thought was her twin. From that family unit, she inherited an incredible sense of self-worth and the ability and need to give of herself generously. Her religious background was strong, and she completed the entire program to be a sister of St. Joseph except taking her final vows. God had a different plan for Cathy, and we all thank Him that He did. Her mission would be a secular one that would have a far greater influence on her community than anyone could have known.
When I first met Cathy, she looked like a Marge to me, not a Cathy, and for three months called her Marge. She was always very polite about it, but little did I know that Marge was the name of Vincent's last girlfriend.
With that kind of an introduction, I was surprised that she asked me, a second year medical student, to sit in on what we thought would be a simple breast biopsy at St. MarVs hospital. told her I'd be happy to do that. I thought I would spend 45 minutes in the operating room, and then go to my usual day. We exited the operating room 8-10 hours later, and the lead surgeon immediately went to Vince and said, "We did everything we could." Vince immediately thought that Cathy had died during the biopsy. I quickly clarified to Vince that, No, she was very much alive, but that her disease and surgery was more extensive than we had anticipated.
Cathy was an incredibly caring and sensitive individual, but I believe that her breast surgery at the early age of 28 gave her the perspective that few people can ever have. She experienced fear and anxiety, and it made her even more empathetic to anyone experiencing trial and adversity. The first of many things I learned from her, I discovered the true power of prayer. I was a person of science, and although I always prayed, never saw it used so effectively as by Cathy. t also learned from her the importance of positive thoughts. Though I was never Cathy's doctor, I was her medical advisor and confidant. She would recount medical visits to me, and would listen and think, Oh My Gosh this is horrible, and she would manage to pick out one obscure detail that was positive and focus on that, and it pulled her through that particular episode. Perhaps the most important thing I learned from her was the importance and power of words. She hung on every word her doctors uttered to her, and I realized how important that was. I could tell you that in all my interactions with patients, I try to be accurate and honest but always hopeful and optimistic and I can thank Cathy for that.
Cathy had an incredible impact on our family. Vince has 50 first cousins including spouses. Each has their own unique role in our family. When Cathy joined, she became the CEO of positive thinking and prayer and the director of hopeless causes. With her, nothing was ever hopeless because she had the power of prayer on her side. How many of you has she prayed for? How many of your family members or friends or other people you know has she prayed for? (Raise your hands). Absolutely amazing.
Cathy played many roles. She was an incredible wife. She not only loved her husband, she adored him jn many ways. Vince was so lucky. I never heard her utter a negative word about him. When he would really do something objectionable, the most she would do is in an Edith Bunker, All in the Family kind of voice say Oh Vinny! But never more than that. What a relationship you have had Vince.
She was an incredible mother, and she did not win a biological lottery to get her kids, she chose them. And when her adoption was threatened by illness, it made her savor and appreciate motherhood even more. She was a remarkable mother.
She also was an incredible Godmother to so many. We had a knack of going on vacation and ending up in the same place Vinny and Cathy were without knowing it. After that, we began to plan vacations together. So when our fifth child and fourth son Jason was to be born, we wanted to strengthen the ties between our family and ask Cathy and Vincent to be Godparents.
Thankfully, they agreed and were incredible role models. Their commitment to each other, their marriage, their parenthood, and their Christianity and spirituality were important lessons for not only my son but all of us. The biggest benefit of Cathy as a Godparent, however, would come when a 17 year old Jason was diagnosed with Stage 4 B Burkitt's lymphoma. He was not expected to survive and in fact spent 118 days at Golisano Children's Hospital, with over 15 hospitalizations and multiple complications. My wife and I were devastated. Cathy reassured us that her Godson would not die. She said "My Godson will not die." She charged the gates of heaven as only she could and elicited the support of so many others, and truth be known many others prayed for him, and for that we are thankful. He not only survived, but he thrived. In fact, Jason is now 30 and he will be married next Saturday. It is little solace, but I am happy that he was able to ask his Godmother and Godfather to do a reading at his wedding. Cathy wanted to do that so badly and Vince will complete the task next Saturday. How many others has she helped to save the lives of?
She also was an incredible teacher and RCIA teacher. In that capacity, created the God box, a wooden box she would make that people would put intentions into and then pray. Cathy was an imperfect human being like all of us, but in her Christianity I think she was almost perfect. Again, an incredible role model, but like her Christ, she suffered but continued her mission just as He did in service to others. Regardless of how ill she was she kept up.
Cathy is the kind of person who made us better people. She is the combination of Mother Hen, Mother Superior, and Mother Teresa. She achieved all the human attributes that a human being can in her 71 years. Human beings only do three things on earth regardless of how long they live or when they lived, or what their station in life was. They love, they are loved, and they serve.
And she loved, was loved, and served to a remarkable degree. I think one's life should be measured by relationships, and she had more than anybody I know. Although many people who were in business or in public life will have relationships, her relationships were much more in depth and much more personal, and they usually occurred when an individual was under incredible stress and duress, anxiety and fear, and there she was. We will all miss Cathy greatly, but not for long because she believed as t believe that we are not human beings with a spiritual side, but rather spiritual beings with a human side. We're spiritual and then given a certain number of years on Earth, and then we are spiritual again. Vince, Jodi, Chris, Mary Jo, your loss is incredible, but I'm envious of the gain that you had in living with her. Cathy endured incredible complications and never seemed to get a break when it came to medical issues. But in the end, her Lord God was kind to her. We had promised her that she would not have pain, she would not be alone, and she would not be dehumanized. And when medical therapy could no longer save her, her loving family and she decided to let go. She was transferred to Hildebrandt Hospice, the finest hospice in our region, but didn't have to endure weeks in hospice. I believe that God looked at Heaven's waiting list, He saw her in line, He reached down and wrapped His arms around her and said, "Come with me now", and gave her that perfect passing, peaceful with family and with dignity- I'm sure that Cathy will continue to pray for us and give us her support. But in a remarkable twist of irony, the woman who created the God Boxes for others to pray, has now found a way to get into the God Box. The only difference is now, when she prays for us, she can look directly at the beautiful, brilliant face of our Lord. Thank God for blessing us with the life of Cathy DiSchino