Grieving family distraught as priest 'stole son's funeral' to condemn his suicide

Odette Odendaal
Dec 17, 2018
07:43 P.M.

Jeff and Linda Hullibarger was still in shock after the death of their son, 18-year-old Maison, during his funeral when the actions of Reverend Don Lacuesta left them outraged.


The Michigan Reverend got suspended indefinitely after he repeatedly brought up the cause of a teenager’s tragic death during his funeral, ignoring his parent's plea to stop.

On December 8, during their son’s funeral only four days after his death, Reverend LaCuesta suggested Maison will not go to heaven and ‘called him a sinner,’ because Maison committed suicide.

Jeff Hullibarger said:

"It was his time to tell everybody what he thought of suicide, (and) we couldn’t believe what he was saying."


Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.

Incredulous of the actions of Reverend LaCuesta, Jeff continued:

"He was up there condemning our son. He wondered if he had repented enough to make it to heaven. He said suicide upwards of six times. There were actually a couple of younger boys who were Maison's age who left the church sobbing."


Linda and Jeff, from Temperance, Michigan, met with the Reverend before he funeral and discussed what they want to be said, but during the ceremony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Temperance, none of what they as parents wanted, got said.

Jeff approached the Reverend and whispered to him asking that he stop talking about their son’s suicide, but the Reverend just ignored him. Maison’s mum, Linda said:

"We wanted him to celebrate how Maison lived, not how he died. He basically called our son a sinner. It was what he wanted. He said nothing about what we asked him to say."


Furious at what happened at his son’s funeral Jeff firmly believes the Reverend should be held accountable for his actions.A statement issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit said that LaCuesta wouldn’t be allowed to give sermons at funerals indefinitely as it read:

"We understand that an unbearable situation was made even more difficult, and we are sorry. For the foreseeable future, he will not be preaching at funerals, and he will have his other homilies reviewed by a priest mentor. In addition, he has agreed to pursue the assistance he needs in order to become a more effective minister in these difficult situations."


In just a week, the GoFundMe page that got set up to cover Maison’s funeral expenses, with an initial goal of $10 000, managed to raise $17,280.

Suicide also affects shockingly young children, like 9-year-old McKenzie Adams, from Linden, Alabama, who recently committed suicide.


McKenzie was found by her grandmother at home where she hanged herself. The 9-year-old got bullied throughout the school year, as McKenzie's aunt, Eddwina Harris elaborated:

“She was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as 'kill yourself,' 'you think you're white because you ride with that white boy,' 'you ugly,' 'black b-tch,' 'just die.'”

Harris, also a media personality, intends to use her platform to speak out for other bullied children. Little McKenzie’s funeral got held at her school, U.S. Jones elementary in Demopolis on December 15.


Another youngster, 18-year-old Paige Hunter knows what it feels like to be in that dark place, just wanting the pain to stop, and used that experience to help others.

Up to date, Paige got credited for saving at least six lives by leaving inspiring notes on the famous Wearmouth Bridge, where so many people have jumped from before. One person can make a big difference, and it goes to show how our actions can impact other people without us knowing.

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