A few months back, at my wife’s insistence, I mailed off a sample of my spit to Ancestry.com to have my DNA analyzed.
While putzing around with the TV remote, I was afflicted with the Fox News Channel’s attempts to interview Chris Christie.
On Friday, Jan. 8, I attended the funeral of Adrian Péré, a former priest of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, who committed suicide on January 3, 2016. Adrian was 51 years old.
He spent his first year of priesthood with me at Immaculate Conception Parish in Lakeland right after his ordination in 1993. He also served at Christ the King, St. John the Evangelist in Prairieville and St. George parishes before leaving the active ministry.
Adrian was an incredibly gifted preacher, teacher and counselor. He also struggled with depression for most of his adult life. After leaving the priesthood, he excelled at a couple of well-paying jobs before leaving them to pursue a master’s degree in social work at Tulane University. Since 2009 he was employed as director of counseling services for the University of New Orleans.
In a news release on their website, his colleagues at UNO described him as “so outstanding, incredibly qualified, skilled and gifted,” and “very nurturing, very gentle, very sweet, always with a kind smile.” The assistant director of counseling said Adrian “did something anybody could be proud of. He made a difference in people’s lives. He changed people’s lives.” We might ask ourselves how someone so talented could fail to see goodness in himself.
Depression is largely an invisible illness to coworkers and acquaintances, despite being a very real burden to those who suffer from it. It prevents people from seeing their own talent, beauty, goodness and just how much they are loved and needed by others. In Adrian’s case, it also contributed to his tremendous compassion and empathy for the suffering of others.
The blogger, political pundit, and state government watchdog, C. B. Forgotston also took his life on the same day. Mr. Forgotston was 70 years old. His wife E. J. Forgotston posted a column entitled “Why?” on his blog forgotston.com in which she tried to explain his illness. She wrote, “He was not an unhappy person, as some people have suggested to me in recent days. No, he suffered from a mental illness that he could no longer control at the end.”
So please pray for those in our community who struggle with emotional or mental illnesses who are often resistant to treatment and invisible to the world around them. Pray also for the families who have lost a loved one to suicide and continue to grieve as they search for answers. May God in his mercy grant eternal rest to the deceased and comfort to their families.
After watching CNN‘s “Guns in America” last week, I’m still not convinced that President Barack Obama is fundamentally changing the American Constitution with his proposals.
The President made it clear that his executive action may not not end mass shootings or gun deaths, but it gets the ball rolling.
Photo by John Dupont/The West Side Journal
“I am grateful to be here today and thankful to everyone who has traveled from Amite and other places near and far to join us for this ceremony.