Shock: another priest suicide

Less than a month after this sad news out of Massachusetts, we’re learning of another priest who evidently took his own life in Alabama:

The Archdiocese of Mobile announced the death of Rev. Ernest Hyndman, Jr., the pastor of St. Agatha Catholic Church in Bay Minette.  His body was found in the church rectory Tuesday morning.  No foul play is suspected.  Church officials say he apparently took his own life.

“Father Ernie”, as he was known to friends, attended St. Dominic Catholic School, Mobile and McGill-Toolen High School. He graduated from McGill in 1982, and attended Spring Hill College, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in English in 1986.

After serving as editor of “The Catholic Week” newspaper, he entered Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans in 1992. In 1996, he was ordained a priest and served for 2 years as associate pastor at Holy Family Parish, Mobile, and then as pastor for 11 years.

While assigned to St. Dominic Church in Mobile in 2006, Hyndman shot himself in the arm.  Police reports at the time say Hyndman told officers he had been depressed. Fr. Hyndman left St. Dominic on medical leave granted by the Archdiocese.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord…

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3 responses to “Shock: another priest suicide”

  1. I have seen this happen before among deacons and the only explanation I have found that makes any sense is that they had no “support-systems.”

    IF, for instance, you willingly accept all of life’s agonies and pains of others on one side of your “Cosmic Balance Beam,” but do not have some good old fashioned human support systems on the other side of that beam, this kind of tragedy is a given.

    For instance, how many of you can simply invite your parish pastor to come over and “chill-out.” No blessings, no prayers, nothing that he has to do but relax.

    My previous pastor would visit my home at odd hours anytime during the week. All he usually needed was some time watching sports on TV with “the guys”; maybe a glass of wine — maybe not; maybe a checkers game with my grand-kids — maybe not; a decent meal he did not have to buy or prepare by himself; and maybe even falling asleep in a recliner-rocker — or maybe not. One of his really unusual ways of relaxing was helping my wife pass out the “goodies” on Beggars’ Night/Halloween. Simple family events that he cherished.

  2. I never thought about it before you brought it up, deaconnorb, but just who does a priest “hang out” with where he isn’t required to do his job? He is expected to help others with their problems, religious and perhaps others but who helps him? Unfortunately the priest from Alabama must not have had a friend like you to “hang out” out with. Your former paster was indeed lucky.

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