A Michigan priest criticized for emphasizing suicide in his homily during a recent funeral for an 18-year-old who took his own life has since apologized.
“As with any funeral, it was my intent to serve this family in their time of grief, but I fell well short of providing them the comfort they so desperately needed. Instead, I added to their pain. I deeply regret that, and I am sorry,” said Father Don LaCuesta, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance, Michigan.
He expressed his remorse in remarks to parishioners a week after the Dec. 8 funeral of Maison Hullibarger, which received extensive media coverage. His remarks were released Dec. 17 by the Detroit Archdiocese along with its own statement of apology…
…In the priest’s message to his parish, he said: “I know there have been some calling for my removal from the parish – or from ministry altogether. I understand the pain behind these calls. It is my preference to stay and to serve the parish community I love so much. I want all of you to know that I am working with the archdiocese to ensure that I can serve more effectively in the future.”He also said he will work on “deep interior reflection” alone and with others about how he could have “missed the mark so completely in this case.”
“Many of us know how painful it is when you unintentionally hurt somebody you are trying to help,” he added. “I ask you to please join me in praying for the family involved, that they may find healing and comfort during this difficult time.”
You can read his full statement here.