The Story of Rocco Magnelli

Father Michael Decewicz - June 20, 2019

Rocco’s theme was the loss of a child due to addiction. He said there are no answers, but he has God in his life. He has been chosen by God and the plan for Rocco’s life is in God’s hands.

Rocco had a lifelong struggle with alcohol – he was in and out of rehab, but could not “fill the hole in his soul” without alcohol. He recognized his problem in with his first stint in a rehabilitation facility. Rocco’s recovery journey carried on throughout the decades with very short periods of sobriety.

He loves to read the Old Testament, especially the book of Exodus dealing with the desert, which is his addiction. Then he reads Genesis, which has the promised of renewed life. He daily prays the 3rd step prayer, where the addict/alcoholic turns their life over to God.

He had jobs during his addicted period of life; in fact, he was a police officer for 20 years in Sharpsburg. He would find excuses for problems at work and would quit before being fired.

At the same time, Rocco’s four children resided with him. His son, Rocco, was an alcoholic. He found his son dead in his bedroom from an opioid overdose with the main narcotic being cocaine, but he got through this loss with God and the support of people. He felt a sense of peace and security, and the foundation of these feelings was God.

Rocco’s youngest daughter went on a rampage and ran away at age 12. She developed an addiction, which led to legal problems. Rocco went to his daughter’s court case and her care manager told the judge that Rocco needs rehabilitation. He knew at that point he needed help.

His daughter is a heroin addict and had a relapse on September 14, 2016, the first anniversary of her brother’s death. Rocco has used NARCAN three times on his daughter and she finally admitted she didn’t want to die. She is currently in a halfway house, is working through recovery and has been sober for 6 months.

Rocco’s oldest daughter is doing fine and his other son graduated from university and is now working outside of Cleveland. Rocco continues to maintain uninterrupted sobriety since December 27, 2013, speaks at meetings and works with children who need help.

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