(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A priest at St. James Parish has died by suicide, according to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Director of Communications Jeremy Lillig said the diocese was notified this morning of the death of Fr. Evan Harkins after he did not show up for Mass.
Lilling said Fr. Harkins had apparently taken his own life. Officers were at the church on King Hill Avenue Tuesday morning.
"In the face of this devastatingly tragic news, we ask that you pray for Fr. Harkins, his family, and the parish and school communities that he served as well as all of our priests," the Diocese said in a statement.
Fr. Harkins was Pastor at St. James Parish and Parochial Administrator at St. Patricks' Parish in St. Joseph. He had been at St. James since 2012.
Lilling said grief counselors will be made available.