Phil Paschke retires from the Diocese of Dallas after 28 years in Addiction Ministry
We will never know how many lives have been changed by Phil Paschke and his passion to serve those in need in the Abuse and Addiction ministries. However, there is no question that everyone who was touched by Phil will be forever grateful for his service.
Recovered alcoholic retires from diocese after helping others find strength in sobriety
By SARAH MERVOSH - Staff Writer, Dallas Morning News Published: 04 November 2012 11:05 PM
On a recent morning, Phil Paschke sat, legs crossed, and sipped on a juice. His head twitched involuntarily from side to side — a constant reminder of who he used to be. But he wore a Mickey Mouse wristwatch as another reminder — to live a life of joy.
“I made a lot of people sad in my life,” Paschke said. “I’m trying to make up for that.”
Paschke spent 15 years in the depths of alcoholism. The addiction destroyed his relationships and left him with a pronounced tic, the result of nerve damage.
After he sobered up, Paschke started the Catholic Diocese of Dallas’ substance abuse and addictions ministry. The program helps alcoholics and other addicts find recovery programs. It also coordinates outreach among the diocese’s parishes.
Because of his work, more than 30 parishes started their own addiction ministry programs, and thousands of people have found strength in sobriety. And through his example, Paschke has given other recovering alcoholics hope that it’s possible to find joy again.
But after nearly three decades at the diocese, Paschke, 70, retired last week. Many say he’ll be difficult to replace.
“I could always turn to Phil,” Charles Stump, who was Paschke’s boss, said. “It’s going to take me a while to get my feet stable after he’s left.”