Sunday, November 17, 2019


“No parent, no sibling, no family member should ever, ever have to sit through what we sat through.” You may remember this story from last year, about a family being upset at the homily preached at the funeral of a man who committed suicide. Now, an update, with this press release from a law firm: On November 14, 2019, the law firm of Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC announced that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Linda… Read more


Anonymous said...

Is a copy of the homily or a transcript thereof available?

Anonymous said...

If you can't take hearing anything that challenges or offends you, then the Catholic Church probably isn't for you.


A couple of years ago, your protege, Fr. Dawid, delievered a homily at the parish in Valdosta in which he took some people to task for attending the reception of a same-sex "wedding" of a woman who had once taught in the parish school (a woman who left her husband and two children to pursue her same-sex attractions). He did not say anything hateful or personal about anyone. He simply reaffirmed the Church's teachings and said that those who had attended this reception needed to some and see him.

From the outcry that followed, you would have thought that he had defecated in the sanctuary. Several offended parishioners, especially those with deep wallets, were up in arms and demanded his removal. The pastor temporarily suspended his preaching privileges (except at the Spanish Masses) but something else happened. For once, there were enough parishioners who understand that being Catholic means you have to stand up for something and they pushed back. His preaching privileges were restored. The rest of his time in the parish found the parish divided between the "We love Father Dawid" faction and the "We hate Fr. Dawid" faction. This young, intelligent priest stood in the crucible and was found to be the real thing.

As the saying goes, "If being Catholic was a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" I fear we are closer than ever to just such a time. May God be with the poor priest and the many other up-and-coming restorationist clergy who insist on telling people what they NEED to hear, not what they want to hear.

TJM said...

This just underscores the disaster of Vatican II. No substantive teaching of the Faith took place thereafter. It's all about "feelings." I am pleased to hear there were some Catholic parishioners left at the parish to support Father Dawid.

Dan said...

Fr Dawid's case is very sad. Just goes to show you what passes as Catholicism these days. I worry that he will continue to be picked at by bishops and laity until his vocation is destroyed. I was there when he delivered that particular sermon and there wasn't anything offensive or demeaning in it.

Doesn't seem as though there is anywhere to go to hear anything Catholic. It sure isn't coming from the man calling himself 'Francis.'

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anon11:48. I had wondered what happened there and had prayed for him only knowing that he couldn’t give homilies. Such a fine young priest! As I understand it, he is currently back in that temporary or permanent? God bless our faithful priests!

Anonymous said...

They attended a reception for a same sex "wedding"...

"He simply reaffirmed the Church's teachings and said that those who had attended this reception needed to some and see him."

What does the Church teach about attending receptions for same sex "weddings" I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

How ludicrous! Belonging to the Catholic Church is voluntary, however, the beliefs you must accept to be a member are not optional. Either you believe the Faith or you don't. These people don't.

No one forced them to have their son's funeral in a Catholic Church. If they do not agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church, then they should not darken her door.

There is not anything pastoral this priest could have done for those who reject Christ's teaching. No euphemisms are soft enough for those who will not accept the concept of sin as the Church teaches it.

No one doubts this family was in deep pain over the death of their son. But that they would sue over this reveals quite a bit more about them, none of which is good.

They are obviously bullies. Shame on them.

God bless.

Dan said...

The homily wasnt specific about 'receptions'...but about public internet postings and support in general, while also claiming the Catholic identity, but thanks for trying.

Dan said...

Anonymous, I think you are intentionally misleading when you give the impression that Fr Dawid was focusing on a reception.

Thought experiment if you are willing. Should Catholic(s) attend 'receptions' for KKK members? Even if they themselves are not KKK oriented? Should they post on Facebook pictures of this reception, AND posts claiming to be Catholic?

Sure the KKK is abhorrent, so I expect your answer to be NO.

I'd be willing to bet that homosexual behavior has been far more condemned in scripture and tradition, than has racism.

So what was Fr Dawid saying that was so terrible? He was very general, and I certainly have no clue as to who he was referring to, it seemed to me to be a general reminder for Catholics.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous at 10:30 a.m.:

The article links to an earlier post that itself links to what might be the actual text of the homily. The author of the linked post is unable to confirm the authenticity of the text sent to him. So, FWIIW here are the two links, the first to the post, the second to the homily text sent to the author of the post:

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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.

The statement added that what happened made an unbearable situation “even more difficult” and noted that LaCuesta will no longer be preaching at funerals and will have all other homilies reviewed by a priest mentor.

The homily:

Cletus Ordo said...

Dear Anonymous at 1:29,

What does the Church teach about attending receptions for same sex "weddings" I wonder.

Let me help you connect the dots. The Church teaches that such weddings are not weddings in the first place. We, as Catholics should certainly not "celebrate" people shacking up together, so why would we, for any good reason, attend a fake wedding, especially for two people who are openly denying God's natural law in a very public and defiant manner? Homosexual "marriages" are a giant "F-You" to the Catholic Church. If you can support that by your presence and have no pangs of conscience, then I guess we should congratulate you for being a good Vatican II Catholic and congratulate your pastor for his utterly empty formation programs.

Quite a bit of older Catholic literature shows parents who would prefer to lose their children and have them die young rather than have them live a longer life in which they would commit a mortal sin and end up in hell. Today, it's the opposite. If anyone's children go the SSA route, the defenses immediately go up: "Damn it, that's my son (or daughter)! I love her and I will support her no matter what!"


If you love and support your children or anyone else, part of that love means you want them to be saved. We are drowning in our self-created pile of moral B.S..

Anonymous said...

If being Catholic was a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict Fr. Dawid's pastor? Talk about spineless lack of support!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, I think you are intentionally misleading when you give the impression that Fr Dawid was focusing on a reception."

Having no first-hand knowledge of the event, I based what I said on what Anonymous wrote at 11:48.

From "Catholic Answers," a pretty conservative organization, written by Michelle Arnold:

"The Church does not explicitly forbid Catholics from attending presumptively invalid marriages. Catholics must use their own prudential judgment in making the decision, keeping in mind the necessity to uphold the Catholic understanding of the sanctity of marriage. To make such a judgment, you might ask yourself if you believe the couple are doing the best they can to act honorably and according to the truth that they have. For example, you might decide to attend the presumptively invalid wedding of a couple who is expecting a child (thereby attempting to provide a family for that child), but you might decline to attend the presumptively invalid wedding of a couple you know to have engaged in adultery (thereby destroying previous marriages and families)."

Dan said...

Anonymous 2 should be worried about the fact that His Humbleness has given MASSIVE scandal by being photographed at a lunch given for homeless where drinks in PLASTIC bottles were given. This is totally contrary to the new, new, new catechism that is coming which will have 'sins against the environment.' Also, I believe that all those bottles were produced by Coca-Cola which is both a CAPITALIST company and had a carbon footprint of an estimated 5.45 million metric tons in 2016.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I read Fr. La Cuesta's homily at the link provided above at 3:06.

Preaching at the funeral of a person who took his/her own life, especially a young person, is extremely difficult and delicate. I don't imagine it was Fr. LaCuesta's intention to cause harm or to upset the family. That kind of behavior would be the result of a sick mind.

If the family asked him not to mention suicide and Fr. LaCuesta agreed, then his doing so would be deplorable. Were I in his shoes, I would have asked very specifically if the family wanted me to mention suicide or not and I would have followed their choice. If LaCuesta was aware that the cause of death was not widely known, he should not have mentioned it.

The only analogy I have from my own experience is that of the death of a 19 year old who drove drunk on New Year's Eve with a bunch of friend in his truck and hit a tree and was killed. Others were injured but all survived. In speaking to his parents about the funeral I asked if they wanted me to speak to the cause of death - drunk driving. They said, "Yes," and added that they hoped their senseless tragedy would impact the young friends of the deceased and keep them from acting in the same way. Had the parents said that they did not want it mentioned, I would have acceded to their preference.

In trying to offer hope to the grieving, I think the homilist would do well to preach on the texts of the funeral mass and not stray into other areas, including the cause of death in this case, suicide. LaCuesta could have artfully spoken about death, even a "tragic and unexpected" death, without ever mentioning suicide.

From what I read, the parents have overreacted. The text does not indicate at all that LaCuesta heartlessly condemned their son. That he (LaCuesta) did not follow through with having a family member speak a few words at the end of the funeral service was most unfortunate, if understandable. Everything was a mess by then.

TJM said...

I agree with Father Kavanaugh that in a delicate situation like this, the family should be consulted. There is no purpose to be served by revisiting painful facts unless the family has a constructive purpose in doing so

Anonymous said...

Absurd---the lawsuit that is, not the priest delivering the homily! I mean, doesn't a Church have a right to determine its own doctrine and practices, even if we may not agree with some of their practices (like ordination of women or same-sex "marriages" in liberal Protestantism)?

Anonymous said...

"I mean, doesn't a Church have a right to determine its own doctrine and practices..."

Of course the Church has this right. But that's not the issue at all.

The issue is the apparently callous and disrespectful manner in which LaCuesta handled himself, not the Church's doctrine and practices.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think a line in Fr. LaCuesta's homily had the key: "...profound grief, our indescribable sorrow, even our anger and confusion at how such a thing could have happened?" Could it be the family was taking these feelings out on the priest who was not "being pastoral" enough for them? Before around 1960, people who committed suicide could not have a Catholic funeral nor be buried in a Catholic cemetery. We've come a long way in understanding that a mental defect may be the cause of a person committing such an act and maybe the person lacked free will. On the other hand, in today's Church, the rule is to make people feel good about themselves. People expect a person to be "celebrated" at their funeral, either in the homily or in the eulogy (of which there may be several and last longer than the homily itself). This is especially true of deceased well-known people including Church leaders. People also expect the person to be "canonized" at their funeral, even if they knew the person was hardly a saint. Woe to the bishop or priest who mentions Purgatory or even sin. Some priests are good and really tell it as it is. Other priests want to "make nice" and spoil it for the others.

John Nolan said...

Fr LaCuesta happens to live in the most litigious nation on earth. He could sue for defamation were it not for the fact that in the US the bar is set high for libel and slander.

Of course, the family had no right to ask the priest to eulogize their son in his homily, and the priest should have refused to do so. Unfortunately the modern funeral rites are such an unholy mess that few people know where they are any more, clergy included.

There will be neither homily nor eulogy at my Requiem Mass, which will be as per the Liber Usualis. I would rather like my tombstone to feature skull and bones with the following inscription:


Richard M. Sawicki said...

Time for a DOGMATIC Ecumenical Council to formally address heresy and false catechesis in the Church at large, followed by years of plenary councils in every nation on earth to implement genuine reform (i.e. return to THE CATHOLIC FAITH!).

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

Fr Martin Fox said...

I read the lawsuit in question and while I am not an attorney, I suspect it won't get very far.

As far as preaching at funerals involving suicide, let me say this from actual experience. Sometimes family are not entirely candid about it, which is understandable for two reasons. First, because there can be room for doubt in some cases -- was it intentional suicide or an accident? Second, because they are in shock, and perhaps not ready, a few days after the death, to confront the full reality.

I've been to the scene of several such deaths. One time I had a legitimate doubt about whether the deceased intended suicide, and I shared my observation with the Sheriff's deputy.

When I meet with the family for a funeral -- any funeral -- I am careful about what I promise the family I will say, because at that point, I don't know what I'll say. But I emphasize that the focus of the funeral Mass is not on the person who died, but on Christ and our hope in him.

There are lots of difficulties and delicate matters that can arise beyond suicide: family ugliness, the deceased wasn't especially faithful, or other circumstances of the death. In my experience, when meeting with family beforehand, it is best to address such circumstances and get a sense of how to proceed in the homily. And I have found that if you take care, you can address these issues in the homily in a way that is clear enough without being painful. I have never had to use the word "suicide."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have offered Requiems for all kinds of people who died in questionable ways, gangsters, suicide, murder, aides related, ect.

I don't think that a funeral Mass homily should be about the morality of the acts or to convince people not to follow the example of the deceased. It should be a homily that inspires people to know, love and serve Jesus Christ in this life and be happy with Him forever in the life to come. Certainly the last four things could be mentioned, death, judgement, heaven and hell as it pertains to all of us and that our hope in Jesus Christ is that He saves us. Our prayer for the deceased is that through God's mercy redemption is possible for the deceased and all of us.

We should not presume to make the homily a "celebration of life" or a "canonization" or a tribunal of judgement against the deceased or those in attendance.

With delicate matters, I think it wise to avoid anything that inflames passions or increases the grief of those who are mourning.