Should a Teen Suicide’s Funeral Look Like a Canonization Ritual?

A traditional Catholic funeral Mass, with the black vestments now rarely used.

By John Zmirak Published on December 17, 2018

A very sad story is playing out right now. It entails a teenage boy who committed suicide, his parents, and their parish priest. I’d like simply to skip past it, but the way it’s getting reported raises too many issues. They need thinking through, especially in this “#MeToo” moment of snap judgment and instant condemnation.

It’s not just that too many of us read the facts of a case and draw rash conclusions. We fear that if we don’t, or if we differ from the Twitter consensus, we’ll be the next ones condemned. (“Let’s get that racist fired from his job!” Wait, is he really guilty? “Why are you defending racists? Maybe you’re a racist too!”) So we pile on, or at least keep quiet. And innocent people suffer, while bullies accumulate power.

Things are worst on issues of alleged sexual harassment or sexism. But the moral panic extends to tenuous charges of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, “transphobia,” and other forms of bias. Just look at the long list of conservatives falsely labeled “alt-right” and banned from essentially all forms of public communication. Unpersoned for crimethink.

Hunting Down “Rigid” Catholics

In Christian circles, standards prove vaguer and the charges flung even more tenuous. I’ve read countless stories of faithful, doctrinally orthodox — and let’s be candid, straight — seminarians expelled from priest-prep programs for being “rigid,” “unpastoral,” or “psychologically immature.” Do some digging, and you’ll often find that the seminary in question approved dozens of actively gay men to be ordained. (Remember how Cardinal Theodore McCarrick preyed on seminarians for decades, without any consequences, punishing young men who spurned him?) And you wonder if those men expelled found themselves kicked out for refusing to play footsie, or at least stay silent about it. There’s a whole book, Goodbye, Good Men, devoted to documenting such stories.

Once they’ve managed to get ordained, and appointed to a parish, orthodox priests must thread the eye of a needle. There’s massive cultural pressure to surrender and explain away every “hard saying” of Jesus. To collapse the complex, demanding body of Christian moral teaching into a tear-soaked wet Kleenex of “compassion” and liberal politics.

Mercy, Justice, and Suicide

This is the context in which we need to read the story of Father Don LaCuesta. He drew the unhappy task of saying the funeral Mass for a teen boy, Maison Hullibarger, who died by suicide. A priest from the more traditionally Catholic Philippines, Fr. LaCuesta preached a sermon that spoke of suicide as a sin.

A depressed person who succumbs does something very different from some dictator who shoots himself in a bunker, or extremist who starves himself to death in prison. A merciful God takes all such facts into account.

That outraged the dead boys’ parents, who interrupted the sermon. LaCuesta also made no room for eulogies by family members — which aren’t part of the Catholic funeral service. (We do that at the wake.) Several other teenagers at the service ran out crying, and now the parents are trying to get Fr. LaCuesta kicked out of the parish, maybe the priesthood. Two long, tendentious USA Today stories give the parents’ side, but not the priest’s. His archdiocese (Detroit) has sent him for counselling, and apparently won’t let him comment.

Now, I wasn’t there. Nobody’s providing any actual quotes (much less a transcript) of what Fr. LaCuesta said. But I fear that he’s getting a raw deal, and that the parents are taking out their anger at their son’s death on him. I suspect that Fr. LaCuesta tried (perhaps clumsily) to remind people of the Christian teaching on suicide, because he felt obliged to. That he saw the other teens in the church as possible candidates to follow in Maison’s footsteps. There’s a real phenomenon, called “suicide contagion,” where one teen’s suicide quickly leads to others. One great pastor I know offered this comment:

The History of Christian Suicide

Now, until recent decades, Christian churches mostly refused to hold funeral services for suicides. Not because such a sin seemed unforgivable, so much as unrepentable. Other homicides have time and opportunity to seek out God’s forgiveness. Suicides presumably don’t. In the Middle Ages, suicides lay in unmarked graves, as a deterrent to desperate people (in often desperate times) tempted to take that way out.

I don’t need people reading snippets from my humor books at my funeral, or pretending that the service is a canonization ritual. No, I want them praying, good long and hard, for my battered soul and its eventual passage into heaven.

More recently churches, including the Catholic Church, accepted the evidence of psychiatry, and concluded that many suicide victims are severely mentally ill. Too ill for us to consider them fully culpable for the grave sin of suicide. So we now grant them funerals, and that’s a very good thing. On that we can all agree. One of my closest friends struggles with clinical depression, and I’ve learned a lot about the overwhelming pressure that suicidal ideation imposes. A depressed person who succumbs does something very different from some dictator who shoots himself in a bunker, or extremist who starves himself to death in prison. A merciful God takes all such facts into account.

But as Catholics we learn never to either despair of someone’s salvation, nor to presume it. What’s more, we believe that virtually every sinner who dies is quite unready for heaven. The sins for which he hasn’t perfectly repented still weigh him down. They must be refined away, through suffering. We call that process “Purgatory,” and believe we can ameliorate it by continuing to pray for people once they are dead, as we did while they were living. 

Pray for the Dead

I know that’s what I want when I check out. I don’t need people reading snippets from my humor books at my funeral, or pretending that the service is either a “celebration of life” or a canonization ritual. No, I want them praying, good long and hard, for my battered soul and its eventual passage into heaven. That is the first and most solemn duty we have to the dead, not finding flattering pictures or favorite baseball gloves to prop up in their coffins. Not focusing on our feelings.

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Liberal Catholics want to believe that almost everyone gets saved (except perhaps racists and gun-owners). And saved immediately, whisked right up to heaven, with no purgation needed. So the liberal Catholics who hijacked the reform of the liturgy at Vatican II yanked out most mentions of “judgment” and many prayers for the dead. Instead of black or purple vestments, which go well with the sentiments of mourning, now most priests insist on white. That color of vestment we once used only for children who died after baptism, but before the age of reason. Since we were sure of their salvation. I fought my own pastor, unsuccessfully, to have the purple vestments of a normal, sinful adult used at my own mother’s funeral.

Now I’ve seen white used for the burial rites of mafia kingpins. I’ve no doubt white vestments prevailed at Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s funeral for murdered pedophile and child pornographer Fr. George Zirwas.

How We Used to Pray

For an idea of the tone of traditional Catholic funerals, go read the most powerful section snipped out at Vatican II, the Dies Irae. Here’s a brief, representative quote from that exquisite medieval prayer for mercy on the day of judgment:

Oh, in that destroying hour,
Source of goodness, Source of power,
Show thou, of thine own free grace,
Help unto a helpless race.
Though I plead not at thy throne
Aught that I for thee have done,
Do not thou unmindful be,
Of what thou hast borne for me:
Of the wandering, of the scorn,
Of the scourge, and of the thorn.
Jesus, hast thou borne the pain,
And hath all been borne in vain?
Shall thy vengeance smite the head
For whose ransom thou hast bled?
Thou, whose dying blessing gave
Glory to a guilty slave:
Thou, who from the crew unclean
Didst release the Magdalene:
Shall not mercy vast and free,
Evermore be found in thee?

Let the Liturgy Do the Work

When the liturgy includes prayers like that, and the vestments are black or purple, and the ceremony is solemn, priests such as Fr. LaCuesta are off the hook. The service itself does the work. It warns against presuming easy salvation. And calls us to pray for the dead. It does all that impersonally, without singling out or criticizing the deceased in any way. So the priest is free to talk about mitigating circumstances. To remind us of Jesus’ mercy, and our duty to live in hope. Even, perhaps, to talk about some of the dead person’s virtues.

But when infantile white vestments and bowdlerized prayers combine with our current atmosphere of cheap grace and instant salvation? A good priest might well look down at the other teens in the church and have a legitimate worry. Will this service tell these kids, some of them troubled, that suicide is a quick ticket to heaven? Does he want that on his conscience? Will the worshipers gathered to mourn and comfort forget that the departed soul needs their prayers?

I will pray that Maison Hullibarger enters heaven. That his parents find peace and healing. That no teens imitate his desperate action. And that Fr. LaCuesta gets treated fairly by his bishop. I hope you join me.

UPDATE: Canon lawyer Ed Peters has located and posted online what is apparently the text of Fr. LaCuesta’s sermon at the funeral in question. Read it for yourself.

UPDATE: In light of the text of the sermon and a re-examination of the facts of the case in light of it, I have changed my opinion of this case. PLEASE READ this follow-up column.

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  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Well , while I support the sentiment & tone of this brief theological treatise on the tragedy of teen suicide I can’t in good conscience join the community of practicing Catholics in Mr Zmirak’s request that we join him in a prayer for this unfortunates final destination .
    Though I support his right to make that request on this a somewhat ecumenical website , it is my faith in a “ finished work” which scripture graciously reveals to this thankful fellow that prevents my participation.
    While I kinda get the perception of good will being offered by such “intercession “ as well as the comfort of an ultimate second chance , none of that trumps the sometimes difficult apprehension of a grace that transcends any circumstance.
    No matter what theological framework is being employed ….

    • tz1

      It is not a “second chance”. It is even biblical as it is in one of the book of Maccabees (oops, you don’t think those are part of the canon, but where does the canon specify the canon?).

      You can deny it, but then are left with a strange result. If I merely “accept” Jesus, I can sin. Perhaps to shoot every abortionist and bomb clinics unjustly until I am caught. Or even act like Trump. And will instantly get to Heaven with no penalty for actual, serious, but not “denying christ” sins.

      We are fallen, and purgatory is the level of the fall as we wait for the elevator (or lift as Thereze of Lisoux noted) to bring us into Heaven. Sin causes actual harm, and we WILL be held responsibile for willful sin.

      • Kathy

        I’m sure Howard will give a much more articulate and eloquent response, but wanted to ask you a question. Why did God send Christ to suffer so horrifically and die in our place, taking the wrath of God on Himself voluntarily, if our sins are not REALLY forgiven, and we are not REALLY reconciled to the Father as a result of trusting in that free gift?

        God could have spared Himself the pain of providing that gift to us if He just said to us all “Well, you be sure to do this, that and the other and no matter how much or often you do it (who knows what that is), I will send you to a place to suffer when you die and just hope that enough people pray for you, purchase mass cards, etc. so you don’t have to stay in that place of torment too long.

        • irishsmile

          Too much assuming! A place of torment or education? Purgatory is a merciful Catholic doctrine.

          • Kathy

            Not sure what I am assuming…my first, second or both paragraphs. I honestly don’t see how purgatory is a “merciful” doctrine. Isn’t it much more appealing to be “absent from the body, present with the Lord” as the Apostle Paul stated? As Andrew cited above, the thief on the cross placed his trust in Christ and was told by Him “Today, you will be with Me in paradise”. There was no purging of remaining sins mentioned.

          • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

            Given you are not certain what you are assuming I would suggest a book to read “The Map of Life” by Frank Sheed that illuminates the validly of the Catholic dogmas and Christian faith….I am sharing from the perspective that I too am not sure what I have assumed (tough) to be True as my formative years were “compromised” by the liberation theology within the Catholic Church.

          • Kathy

            There was no indication of exactly what she thinks I am assuming. Was it forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God as stated in my first paragraph? Or, the scenario of what God possibly could have done rather than what He actually did do in sending His Son to be punished in our place?

            I am very familiar with RC doctrine after attending the church with my husband for over 25 years and researching it after finally dealing with the many doubts I experienced while there.

        • tz1

          1 Collossians 24:

          Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

          What is still lacking?

          Christ paid the eternal penalty and satisfied divine justice, but there is still the temporal side.

          Can I do horrible, monstrous sins and just “believe in Christ” and not suffer any penalty? Or even if I just give into temptation.

          It isn’t a gray area, but once you are saved, you can still sin and (especially as a Christian) have to be responsible to “pay the last penny”. There is the last shall be first, but I wouldn’t trust my soul will not suffer for my sins.

          Either Purgatory, or you aren’t really saved, or you will end up in a far, dirty, dry corner of heaven instead of close to God.

          • Kathy

            Col. 1:24 (ESV study Bible): “…does not imply that there is a deficiency in Christ’s atoning death and suffering on the cross, which would contradict the central message of this letter and all the rest of Scripture as well. Christ’s sufferings are in fact sufficient, and nothing of one’s own can be added to secure salvation. What was “lacking” in Christ’s afflictions was the future suffering of all who, like Paul, will experience great affliction for the sake of the gospel.”

            We must always consider the whole context of Scripture and how each verse relates to it, avoiding taking single verses out of context that seem to contradict the rest.

            Christ died for all of our past, present and future sins. There is NO license to sin when we are saved, but God provided a substitute. We no longer must be punished by Him for those sins….Jesus endured that for us. “There is no greater love than laying down one’s life for his friends”.

          • tz1

            I don’t outsource my theology to study bibles.
            Why suffer affliction at all? Even for the sake of the Gospel? If Christ is sufficient? It’s not like we should all be deprived of a Lamborghini.

          • Kathy

            2 Timothy 3:15-17: “the Holy Scriptures….are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

            “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” So, if the Lord essentially wrote the Bible, where else do we need to go? Don’t you say/sing that in your church? I did when I was at the RCC with my husband.

            Jesus said if they hate you, it’s because they hated me first. We may suffer affliction for showing any resemblance to Him. That has nothing to do with suffering for our sins. Jesus already paid the price for us.

          • tz1

            1 Timothy 3:15
            “if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and foundation of the truth”

            The pillar and foundation is NOT scripture but the Church.

          • Kathy

            Yes, God has entrusted the church (the gathering of ALL true followers of Christ) with promoting and protecting the truth of the gospel.

            If the church strays from the true gospel (the one evidenced in Scripture) in any way, they are NOT the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. Unfortunately, it seems that more churches than not are doing just that…going off the rails.

      • Howard Rosenbaum

        Thank you for not accusing me of being a catholophobe , to coin a phrase. I can appreciate the contributions various expressions of the Christian faith have made to the cause over the millennia .
        I will also not subjugate the integrity of the “word” ( that collection of illumination & literary brilliance superseded only by the divine revelation of Gods grace that presumably we both can embrace ) to anything less than the equivalent of that which both the Spirit & the word would agree upon. ( That might be a bit too vague for some for whom an experience of both of these in “real time” may be foreign. )
        For example there’s this misconstrued concept that you imply I promote. Namely this “merely accepting Jesus” thing you reference in relation to redemption. Whose bible proffers such consideration ? If ones faith is reduced to “merely accepting Jesus” then that ones faith is no faith of any real consequence. See , we can agree on something, though perhaps not in the way you initially presented it.
        Also both your political & religious bias is prevalent in your effort to rationalize your preferred beliefs. That usually does not lend itself to constructive dialogue.
        Though I digress.
        Look the bottom line here is actually quite simple but so profound that some may need help to complicate it in order to replace it with something significantly inferior to the original .
        That is where some “church” teachings come in. That is also one of the most effective ways to “ make the word of God of no effect”. Who was it that said that again ?
        Yeah the same one whose blood was shed for that sin you seem to be stuck on.
        What is it about that propitious sacrificial offering up of a divine life & all the blood that came with it that fails to impress you with its all sufficient efficacy where mans redemption from the wrath of God & the ultimate consequences of sin are concerned ? ( Are these sentences long enough ? )
        Regardless, you may prefer any number of religious alternatives to the gospel.
        As for myself I’m not unwilling to both embrace & affirm the words of a man for whom few earthly sacrifices were left unrealized. He said this ;
        “ Therefore being justified by faith I have peace with God through my Lord Jesus Christ- through whom also I have access by faith into this grace in which I stand “ – and for starters that’s good enough for me …..

      • apollo

        If there is a purgatory it is in this life.

        • tz1

          Then the material, creature comforts mean we are all destined to Hell as we avoid and refuse suffering here.

          Luther said Christ covers our “cancerous boil” (sin) with a white cloth. I don’t wish to enter heaven with an eternal cancerous boil which is merely covered up but never removed.

          • apollo

            Paul said:

            “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my
            presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your
            salvation with fear and trembling,” Philippians 2:12

            That working out process is purgatory.

          • Lorraine

            One can also work out Purgatorial suffering here… with pizza and cold beer!

          • apollo

            LOL! All I know that at times it is no fun in my head.

  • samton909

    No, Vatican II did not erase the Dies Irae.

    • Zmirak

      The liturgical commission set up by Paul VI did.

  • tz1

    That was my immediate thought.
    The most serious error in “they went to heaven”, especially among protestants, is that barring the conditions for plenary indulgence, they are going to be in Purgatory for a long while, made worse by the heresy that they aren’t there and can’t be prayed for.

    Maybe you need the “semi-bad Catholic’s guide to venial sins and the need to pray for those in Purgatory”.

    • Andrew Mason

      Heresy is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. Purgatory has no Biblical basis nor does the notion of Earthly acts having any affect on the dead. Christians (you’d probably say Protestants) believe that Jesus has promised them immediate access to Heaven – the criminal on the cross for instance to whom He said “… today you will be with me in paradise”. Those whom He rejects (workers of lawlessness) by contrast will spend eternity in a … less comfortable abode.

      • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

        Unfortunately your lead statement “Heresy is somewhat in the eye of the beholder” is simply, pure relativism, subjective truthiness, no right, no wrong simply different, predicated on the rejection of objective Truth hence what follows in your mind is merely your opinion based upon your lead statement though you may quote Scripture to support your primary ideas. Christian orthodoxy is based upon Revealed Law (Scripture) in concert with Natural Law and Metaphysical Laws that comprise the moderate realism of the Scholastics or traditional Christian orthodoxy. Should you desire a better appreciation for Purgatory you may wish to read “A Map of Life” by Frank Sheed that as a bonus offer the best explanation to the problem of pain and suffering that I have yet found. I though a good read this Season of Advent.

        • Andrew Mason

          Heresy in the eye of the beholder relative? Only in the sense that different groups will hold different viewpoints heretical. The critical viewpoint is obviously God’s but we disagree over that. Thus while there is an actual absolute standard, it’s one which we squabble over. This clearer? I did say heresy was somewhat in the eye of the beholder not that it was absolutely a matter of personal perspective.

          • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

            Yes, that heresy is in the eye of the beholder is subjective relativism…from the Objective Truth of God there is nothing for which we are challenged to disagree. St Thomas Aquinas, provides the foundation for the moderate realism of the Scholastic, the Orthodox Dogmas of the Christian Tradition. Now certainly there are prudential issues for which we may disagree but not Objective Truths. We are called to coalesce upon the objective Truth of God so that if there are difference they are of understanding not personally self serving. Though I am not Catholic in the Roman sense, I am Catholic in the Christian sense so I am free to disagree with what the Roman Church requires to be a member. As a Catholic Christian shall also take exception to the heresies promoted within the various modern protestant denomination that are increasingly not Christian as they are leading their followers astray no different that liberal Catholics within the Roman Church as leading their followers astray.

      • tz1

        Was the rich man in the parable of him and Lazarus condemned to hell? For what sin? But he was unjust and uncharitable. And even post hoc repentant.
        Why does the book of Maccabees endorse praying for the dead if there is no purgatory?
        Jesus could give plenary indulgences (forgive all sins and the penalties), so did so for the Thief who repented.

        • Andrew Mason

          What relevance does the book of Maccabees have? It’s not part of any version of the Bible I’ve read.

          • tz1

            It was in the origial 1611 KJV and is part of current RSV – it is in the Catholic Canon. It is in the Septuagint (only 3 and 4 Esdras aren’t considered Canonical).
            Where in Scripture does it say which books Scripture consists of?

          • Andrew Mason

            RSV as in Revised Standard Version? Hate to break it to you but it’s not in the New Revised Standard Version. Scripture doesn’t specify which books it is comprised of however there was general consensus on what counted as New Testament scripture by the early church. As regards the OT, which is where Maccabees fits in, that’s based on the ‘Hebrew Bible’. I’m unclear on how Maccabees etc got into any bibles given its non-canonical status and its exclusion from the aforementioned Hebrew Bible.

          • tz1

            It’s in my RSV bible.

      • GaryLockhart

        Purgatory has no Biblical basis

        Incorrect. Your knowledge of Scripture is quite deficient.

        • Andrew Mason

          Incorrect. My knowledge of Roman Catholicism is deficient, but that’s quite a different thing.

  • irishsmile

    As the Mother of a priest I have a problem with the report of what the priest at this funeral is “reported” as saying. Liberal, uneducated Catholic misquote my son’s homilies all the time. Funerals are not canonizations…. where did we ever get that silly idea? Assuming that our beloved dead are in heaven is discouraging us to pray for them! If you love them, pray for God’s mercy… don’t assume!

    • Andrew Mason

      What of faith? God teaches us that the faithful are in Heaven with Him, the rest are rejected. Indeed to assume that the dead need prayer to enter Heaven is to assume that God has rejected them as lawless. Why then should He accept them? It is faith alone that makes us acceptable to Him not our works, and the acts of others does not make us more acceptable to Him.

      I’m not Catholic or Mormon or anything like that so obviously my view differs to your own. If I pray about my beloved dead it is to thank Him that they are with Him. I wasn’t close to those of my family who didn’t follow Him – their choice, so I don’t think so much about their choice for eternity.

      • GaryLockhart

        It is faith alone that makes us acceptable to Him not our works,
        An opinion rejected by Christ and Scripture
        Sola fide is false man made nonsense.

        • Andrew Mason

          Actually the ‘opinion’ taught by Christ and Scripture.

          Yes I’m aware this is not what Roman Catholicism teaches.

    • Shaune Scott

      God bless your dear son in his priestly vocation.

  • Andrew Mason

    An interesting piece albeit very very Catholic – which mostly makes sense given the focus of the piece. The note about prayers for the dead will however disturb most non-Catholics. As far as I’m aware only Mormons (or is it JWs?) believe that acts on Earth can affect the situation of the deceased. For faithful Christians death is the gateway to judgement, whereupon we enter Heaven, whilst for non-believers (incl. unfaithful ‘Christians’) judgement results in damnation. There is no purgatory, nor is there any means to shift one’s eternal residence after death. One’s choices in this life are all that matter.

    • Kathy

      I believe it is the Mormons..they practice baptism of the dead.

    • GaryLockhart

      There is no purgatory,

      In your unlearned opinion.

      It’s incredibly arrogant – and a rejection of Scripture – to believe that at the moment of death that one will be entirely free of imperfection and able to waltz into Heaven and enjoy the beatific vision.

      “There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb. ” Apocalypse 21:27

      • Andrew Mason

        Arrogant, or faithful? It is not arrogance to cling to the promises and statements of the Lord.

        Apocalypse? I’ve guessing you mean Revelation. I also don’t see the relevance. Those whose name are in the book of life are Christian. The rest are the workers of lawlessness and denied entry.

  • Lisa

    The teens that ran out at the mention of suicide being sinful actually benefitted from hearing that. I wish some mention of the grave sin of suicide had been brought up at the church service for a young person I knew. As it was, the memorial service was a weird celebration of life and sort of like a reunion. There should have been more crying…I should have cried more. But there was no leader or priest doing any officiating to remind us of the severity of what happened. Instead, we watched happy pictures cross a big screen and heard loving tributes. I think all the young people present (and there were a lot) missed an opportunity to learn about why suicide is horrible. Instead, they saw a celebration of life. No funeral took place. We should wear black and be sad still. Catholics should keep these traditions.

    • apollo

      I think the Priest should have said in an off hand way all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And left it at that.

      • GaryLockhart

        Read the entire homily.

  • Patriotic American

    Great article. I would like a priest like Father LaCuesta for my funeral Mass. I joined a traditional parish in part because I was tired of the white vestments, no rosaries said, and automatic canonization at other parish’s funerals. I want people to pray, and pray hard for my soul because I know I will need it. Satan is laughing at the way he has fooled people out of praying for the dead. He wants to keep those souls out of Heaven for as long as possible.

    • Shaune Scott

      You and me both.

  • m-nj

    Does anyone know WHY the kid committed suicide. Google search is overflowing with the priest and coach funeral stories, but nobody is reporting a suspected motive for why Maison killed himself.

  • CLafayette

    If I was the priest…my homily would be…
    He committed suicide murdering himself…he is now in Hell for all eternity…go bury him.

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