Fr. Bill has been an unofficial member of our family since before I was born. He married my parents, then baptized all six of their children (myself included). Then he went on to marry all of those children (again, myself included). He was so much a fixture in our family that we used to get confused as little kids and call him "Uncle Bill"! Here he is at our wedding in May 2002:
And he Baptized most of the next generation as well (I think he Baptized about 17 out of my parents 20 grandchildren). Here he is at Andrew's Baptism in November 2004:
And again at Eamon's Baptism in November 2006:
That beautiful lady with him in the first two pictures is his sister, Mary Louise. Mary Louise suffered from Osteogenesis Imperfecta and passed away in December 2009. Fr. Bill and Mary Louise lived together, and he took care of her for her whole life until near the end when she needed more assistance, and was moved into a nursing home. Of course, he still visited her everyday :)
This was Fr. Bill last weekend when we went to visit him at the Retired Home for Priests in Boston. He is
suffering living with cancer, but still the same old wonderful and happy man we've always known. As soon as we got there, he asked to hold Xander whom he hadn't seen yet:
The kids made themselves right at home, and I think we all left that day feeling blessed to know each other. There's nothing like family...by blood or just desire!