BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Reverend Danny Roussel died at the age of 49 on August 30.
The local priest took his own life.
The Pastor of St. Aloysius, Father Randy M. Cuevas posted the sad news on the St. Aloysius Facebook page.
The Bishop of Baton Rouge, Michael Duca recognized the struggles of Father Danny and implored anyone who is struggling with mental health to seek help.
A copy of the letter can be found below:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As your Bishop, it is with a heavy heart that I share with you news of Reverend Danny Roussel’s death on August 30th. Fr. Danny was a deeply devoted priest who was beloved by his family, his parishioners, and his brother clergy. He shared a commitment to the faith that was clear and unwavering. I greatly appreciated Danny’s generous and open-hearted service to our diocese.
I inform you with profound sorrow that Fr. Danny took his own life at the age of 49. We are aware that Danny recently struggled with anxiety and depression. For many people, the difficulties of the modern world can be an unbearable challenge. For some, these feelings can be overwhelming. I would ask you to pray for Father Danny, his mother, stepfather, brother, and family. Please also remember his Church families at Our Lady of Peace in Vacherie, St. Mary of False River in New Roads, St. Aloysius in Baton Rouge, and the larger diocesan Church family.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Brothers and sisters, news like this is troubling. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do not struggle alone. We must take care of one another, and we must also take care of our own mental health. If you are struggling to cope, do not hesitate to reach out to family and friends who love you, a pastor, or a licensed professional – someone to listen to you. You are not alone. Remember that our greatest source of strength and comfort is the mercy and love of God. Let us never waiver in these assurances of faith.
Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or locally dial 211 for assistance.
Hope in the Lord,
Most Reverend Michael Duca
Bishop of Baton Rouge
The Pastor of St. Aloysius added that “Fr. Danny’s death fills us all with a deep sadness. The circumstances of his death also leave us with unanswerable questions that evoke all the emotions we feel with the death of a loved one. Let us keep each other in prayer and reach out to comfort each other with the assurances of our faith. We are beset with so many challenges locally at this time. Let us depend on the mercy and love of God and loving friendships in our St. Aloysius Parish family for the support we need.”
Father Danny Roussel was ordained in May of this year.