Catholic School Copes with Priest's Death - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Catholic School Copes with Priest's Death

Fr. Michael Labadie Fr. Michael Labadie

The grieving process has begun at a local high school where students are coping with the sudden and saddening loss of a teacher. Father Michael Labadie was a well-liked instructor and chaplain at Montgomery Catholic High. Tragically, he committed suicide.

"He was just a really wonderful teacher," said the school's president, Faustin Weber. Outside Catholic High, black wreaths are hung in Labadie's memory.

"He connected with teens," Weber said, pointing to one specific class he remembers. "It was a class full of sophomores for Catholic doctrine. And he (Labadie) was standing up on top of the desk in the classroom and he was saying, 'Rebecca if you don't know the answer to this question, I'm a failure as a teacher and I'm going to jump!' And he just had that kind of creative spark."

"He was very passionate about everything he did," said student body president Mary Catherine Ingram.

She and other students have been coming to the school during their summer break to sign a message board in Labadie's memory.

"Father Labadie told us to turn to God in times like these," Ingram said. "So, we're trying to live out the lesson that he taught us."

Father Labadie was also an associate pastor at Queen of Mercy Catholic Church. He was found dead in his home there earlier in the week. Police say he died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Weber said Labadie had dealt with neurological problems in the past. "He was doing very well, but I guess he had a significant relapse."

The funeral for Father Labadie is set for Friday at 11:00 a.m. with visitation on Thursday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. All the ceremonies will be held at Queen of Mercy Catholic Church.

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