We must take a moment to mark the passing of CDR Dennis Rocheford, chaplain, Catholic priest, and a man whom you will understand lived a very good life. I gather, from the gentle phrasing, that he was a suicide: and that is a great problem.

As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei i, 21), "not even Samson is to be excused that he crushed himself together with his enemies under the ruins of the house, except the Holy Ghost, Who had wrought many wonders through him, had secretly commanded him to do this."
One of you, who knew him, wrote to suggest the topic. Honestly, I have nothing useful to say. I did not know the man, and cannot speak -- as his companion does, so eloquently -- of his fine qualities, his friendship, or his love.

As to suicide itself, I am afraid of no man but myself: and for that reason, I find in suicide a true fear. I have never known what to say about it, when it has come to command my attention. It is right that we should face our fears, though, and I would be setting a poor example -- and doing little to practice the virtue of courage -- if I did not.

What I might say, either of comfort or of sense, is less clear. I hope, and shall pray, for the soul of Father Rocheford.

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