Backlash after priest 'ruins' teen's funeral with shocking sermon


A Catholic priest presiding over the funeral of a teen has questioned whether the 18-year-old would go to heaven after he committed suicide.

Revered Don LaCuesta, a member of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, told the family of Maison Hullibarger he might not go to heaven after he took his own life, according to the teen’s parents.

Maison died on December 4. His funeral was four days later.

The teen’s father, Jeff, told The Detroit Free Press that a number of his son’s friends left the church in tears. He also said he asked the priest to stop but his requests were ignored.

Revered Don LaCuesta, a member of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, told the family of Maison Hullibarger he might not go to heaven after he took his own life. Source: WXYZ Detroit

Maison’s mum Linda said the family and friends wanted to celebrate how the teen lived and not how he died. 

 “It was his time to tell everybody what he thought of suicide, (and) we couldn’t believe what he was saying,” the teen’s father told The Detroit Free Press. 

“He was up there condemning our son, pretty much calling him a sinner. He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven. He said ‘suicide’ upwards of six times.” 

He said the priest was also seen smirking at one point. 

The Archdiocese of Detroit issued an apology for the reverend’s behaviour and added it made “an unbearable situation even more difficult”. 

It added the reverend won’t preside over any funerals in the near future.

But the family want him booted from the church, concerned he might officiate over another funeral and do the same thing. 

The priest’s profile has been removed from the church’s website. 

– with Associated Press

Maison (right) with his mum Linda and father Jeff. The parents are now calling for the priest to be booted from the church. Source: Facebook/Jeff Hullibarger