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Going Out in Style

July 13, 2011

By Sister Carolyn B.

How do we receive mercy from others even as we seek to be merciful? The Sisters of Mercy in Cincinnati have received the caring service of a member of our maintenance department for the past 40 years. As Charlie Ihle prepares to retire at the end of June, he chose to go out in style.

Charlie invited all the sisters, co-workers and friends that he has made over the years for a pig roast at Mercy Center and provided a 250 pound roasted pig for the occasion. The dining room was filled to capacity with well wishers who have enjoyed his fun loving presence with us over the years.

We were lucky that for his big party, the main dish was exactly what it sounded like because Charlie is famous for playing practical jokes. At one of our pot-luck lunches he brought “spring chicken” for his dish. Only after we had eaten it did we find out that we had eaten rabbit. Another time he grilled “lean beef” hamburgers for a cook-out. They turned out to be venison. We got even with him on his birthday by bringing him a fake sponge birthday cake.

Charlie has become a part of our Mercy family here in Cincinnati. He often visits sisters who retired ahead of him at McAuley Convent and he attends the funerals of sisters who have died.

Charlie has a ready smile and a joke for everyone he meets. We will all miss him and remember how he witnessed a true mercy spirit with us these past 40 years.

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