The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Childproof 7: Father Buescher and the Gang of Six

Page 7

Editorial Update:  22 July 2013

Dear Bishop Gaydos:
David G. Buescher
b. 6 January 1946
d. 3 February 2013
Source: The Anchor, 1972
The Times-Picayune of New Orleans
published an intriguing story dated
11 March 2010 that reflects badly on
your administration and the protection
of children and young people in the
Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo.  According
to the newspaper, Archbishop Gregory
Aymond announced that he would continue
to protect the identity of pedophile priests
targeted in the Church’s October 2009
multi-million dollar settlement with the
child victims of the Madonna Manor
orphanage scandal.

The Times-Picayune coverage is a
continuation of the 16 November 2004
St.  Louis Post-Dispatch account of the
secretive negotiations involving a Gang
of Six at a meeting Chicago that included you and your former chancellor, Sister Ethel-Marie Biri, SSND: two archdioceses (New Orleans, La., and Mobile, Ala.); three dioceses (Jefferson City; Lafayette, Ind.; and Lafayette, La.); and the School Sisters of Notre Dame (Dallas, Texas, province) to resolve a child molestation case that implicated two priests: one employed by Jefferson City and the other by Lafayette, Ind.

Gregory Aymond
New Orleans, La.
This cabal was formed to offer restitution
to a child molestation victim and protect
the identity of the assailants.  Six years
later, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of
New Orleans has adhered to the policy,
refusing to disclose the identity of the
predatory priests implicated by the 2009
settlement, as well.  The two clergymen
you protected in 2004 are among those
named by the Times-Picayune. 

With the 29 April 2009 announcement
by Cooper County Prosecutor Doug Abele
of the indictment and arrest of another
Jefferson City priest, the Rev. Gerald
(formerly known as the Rev.
Carmine Sita), this information is worthy

of attention.

Bishop Gaydos Does Not Refute Buescher Allegations
Despite this organized effort to obscure the facts and limit accountability, we know that the Jefferson City priest is the
Rev. David G. Buescher (photograph above by Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell; published in the 1972 St. Thomas yearbook, The Anchor).  We also know that his accomplice is the Rev. Patrick R. Click of Lafayette, Ind.

We are surprised that Bishop Gaydos has yet to contest the details of this account.  When we delivered a copy of our report — Thy Childs Face  —  on 7 May 2011., the response by his administration is that Buescher is retired.  For more information, see Childproof 43:  Threats of Arrest Fulminate as Victims Call on Bishop Gaydos.
Cold Case File: The Gang of Six
The victim of the Gang-of-Six a 12-year-old boy named Ted Lausche was molested in 1969 when he was in the care of the
New Orleans Catholic orphanage called Madonna ManorHis story
is a cold case file: opened for further review last October when the Archdiocese of New Orleans settled 20 civil suits against Madonna Manor for $5.182 million.  The orphanage was operated by the Notre Dame Sisters.

The Diocese of Jefferson City marketed the Rev. David G. Buescher
as a youth minister, someone who could be trusted with youngsters.
Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor, 1972

We understand that Buescher is now retired and in declining health.  Apparently, he shares a diocesan-owned house in Jefferson City with
a hospital chaplain working St. Mary’s Health Care Center.  Click remains a priest:  he is the pastor of St. Louis de Montfort
in Fishers, Ind.

The Secret of the Wicked Step-Child
Without question, your 2004 Chicago meeting regarding Mr. Lausche implicated both Buescher and Click.  At this meeting the Gang of Six cartel documented evidence entered as fact; and then declined to meet the minimum benchmarks established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with the full support of the Vatican.

Your actions remind me of a Southern expression I leaned as a young newspaper fresh out of college from a deputy sheriff with Aryanist sympathies:  “I’m gonna beat you like a wicked step-child.”

This is what the Church did 41 years ago to a 12-year-old orphan boy
named to Ted Lausche.  And, according to Ted, this is what you and
your colleagues are doing to him today.

An Orphan Assaulted
Buescher as Querelle
Source: Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell, The Anchor, 1977
The story of Ted Lausche is straight-forward and simple.

David Buescher and Patrick Click were
24 years old at the time of the assault
against Mr. Lausche, then a  youngster
at the age of 12.  The two seminarians
were ordained in 1971, educated for
the priesthood at Kenrick Seminary
in St.  Louis. 

Two years before their ordination, in
the summer of 1969, Buescher and
Click had summer jobs at Madonna
.  At the time, Buescher’s sister,
Janet, was a member of Notre Dame religious order and worked at the orphanage: a connection that appears to have fostered her brother’s employment.  Click’s connection to the orphanage remains nebulous even though the Diocese of Lafayette has confirmed that worked at the orphanage that summer.

The two men, probably 24 years old at the time, must have anticipated their bright futures knowing that they would be ordained as priests in less than two years.  The optimism of youth cannot be discounted knowing that their lives would change dramatically in
22 months when their bishops would accept them into the priesthood in June 1971.

The Rev. David G. Buescher and the Rev. Patrick Click worked at
Madonna Manor, New Orleans, La., in the summer of 1969.  Bishop
John R. Gaydos secretly settled a suit brought by Ted Lausche, who
was a 12-year-old boy living at the orphanage when he met the pair.

But something terrible happened that summer.

The Madonna Manor nuns sent Ted to a summer camp in Mississippi that August to escape the city’s oppressive heat and humidity.  There Buescher forced Ted to perform fellatio in the campgrounds shower.  Click restrained the boy throughout the sexual assault.

“He face-fucked the kid,” is the most apt description that I have received about this particular oral sodomy case. 

The Smirking Nun: Sister Ethel-Marie Biri
Rev. David G. Buescher
The Anchor, 1973
At the conclusion of the Gang-of-Six meeting in Chicago, Sister Ethel-Marie stipulated to the press that the identity of Ted’s perpetrators would remain a secret.  Smirking, the Notre Dame nun claimed that Ted’s allegation could not be substantiated.

“It’s clear to me that Ted is not someone
who is just making this up,” Biri told the
Post-Dispatch.  “However, I can’t say the identity of the people he’s named is correct.”

Biri acknowledged that the settlement may look to some like hush money, as well.

“I can understand how people would see it that way,” she added, “but that’s not how we approached it.”

Biri’s calculated assumption rationalized the facts to quash any examination of Buescher’s career and hamper the ability of other victims to address the harm they suffered.  But this breach of trust and gross negligence has not stifled access to justice as the 2009 Madonna Manor settlement illustrates.

John J. Cardinal Carberry (left)
with Bishop William L. Higi, 1984.
Carberry, as bishop of Lafayette,
Ind. (1957-1965), ordained Higi
30 May 1959.  Carberry then hired
Higi as his secretary 13 August 1962;
and appointed him vice chancellor
14 January 1965.  Higi was promoted
to bishop of Lafayette 26 January
1984.  He retired in 2010.
Bishop Higi: Aiding Child Molesters
The bishop of Lafayette, Ind., William L. Higi and Msgr. Robert L. Sell III,
his chancellor and vicar general, utilized the same level of dishonesty and intransigence to protect their flank.

Sell, confirmed to me in a 29 March
2010 telephone interview, that Click
was employed by Madonna Manor
during the summer of 1969:  an
assignment  that lasted three to
six months, he said.    In 2013,
we learned that Click worked at
Madonna Manor for 18 months,
or six consecutive summers. 
And when Click was ordained
in 1971, Lausche joined other
Madonna Manor children as
Click’s guests (the children
travelled by school bus from
New Orleans for the celebration).

Unlike Biri, Sell continues to protect Click with an ephemeral wisp of logic:  Ted identified Click and Buescher as “Brother Pat”
and “Brother Dave” wherein lies their innocence of the crime.

According to Sell, the title of “Brother” is a reference reserved for members of religious orders.  He said neither Buescher nor Click would have been addressed in this manner because they were candidates for the diocesan priesthood. 

Consequently, Ted is mistaken in identifying Buescher and Click as his assailants.  Neither priest is the predator who raped him.  Ted’s error is nothing more than an exaggerated memory, falsified and confused by time and space.

Msgr. Robert L. Sell III, chancellor for the diocese of Lafayette,
Ind., has confirmed that the Rev. Patrick Click was employed by
Madonna Manor during the summer of 1969: an assignment that
lasted three to six months.  He would not comment about the
Rev. David G. Buescher.  Sell and his boss, Bishop William L.
Higi, who retired in 2010, continue to protect the clergymen.

In 1969, I was 16 years old and working at the Dairy Queen in Moberly.  My brother, David, was 12.  I have distinct memories
of that time:  so
does my brother.

And I doubt that a 12-year-old boy named Ted Lausche would
ever forget the names or the faces of his attacker and what
they did to him.

Carberry and the Art of Deceit
John J. Cardinal Carberry,
as archbishop of St. Louis
(1968-1979), strengthened
the paradigm that protects
pedophile priests to this day
throughout the Midwest.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Sell’s suggestion of mistaken identity is harsh and cold-blooded. 
His manufactured logic reflects a
crude sense of morality.

When one hear statements like
Sell’s and witness wave after
wave the stories and citations
of victims of pedophile priests,
the only conclusion that one
can make is these matters are
due to deliberate negligence
and ignorance and that
measures are necessary.

As a school superintendent told me recently:  “Can you imagine the level
of arrogance for someone to believe that he can harm a child and not expect that child to come back some day and confront him and those who protected him?”

The cabal that bishops such as you and Higi have maintained to deny justice to the vulnerable is breathtaking.  Perhaps this conclusion is appropriate since both you and Higi served as private secretary to John Cardinal Carberry of St. Louis.  Carberry, who was Higi’s predecessor in Lafayette (1956-1965) certainly adhered to such policies.  The significance of this link underscores the intrigue of an international network of secrecy in light of the disclosures related to the Pope’s management of the archdiocese of Munich as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

In January 1978, I enrolled in an immersion course at Kenrick to study group dynamics, i.e. parish management, negotiation technique, and people skills.  One aspect of the class was that eight of us were chosen to meet with Cardinal Carberry and a tour of the new cathedral with him.  Carberry advised us facetiously to choose a strong patron saint if we hoped to be successful priests.  His choice was Charles Borromeo: the leader of the Counter-Reformation and nephew of the Medici pope Pius IV.  He joked that Borromeo was a good and holy man, but that was not how he became a cardinal.

Carberry’s Legacy
Cardinal Carberry was a
dismissive church leader
who always knew he was
right even those times
when he happened to
be wrong.
What we have here is the Carberry Legacy: 
parry and thrust until you side wins no
matter the outcome. 

This style of education and management
churns out leaders like you, Higi, and
Sell who have no compunction to
deliberately mislead others in his defense
of child predators.  This penchant for
secrecy is closely linked to Sell’s dismissive
attitude to push back without fear of punishment. 

Sell has made a calculated effort to
marginalize Mr. Lausche while minimizing
the crime and violence that he has suffered.  He expects everyone to believe his argument
that Click and Buescher would never be
addressed by the title “Brother.”    But
this is not true.

Seminarians as Brothers
During my 10-year affiliation with diocese of Jefferson City, I used the title “Brother Michael” in at least three different assignments. 

My freshman year in 1971 at Cardinal Glennon College in St.  Louis,
I worked as a religious education instructor at Catholic Church in Kinloch.  My fourth grade students were instructed by the program director to call me “Brother” Michael.  She told me the title would confer a degree of respect and give the students a better grasp of
my standing in the church since many of them were the children
of converts.

The Rev. Manus P. Daly, dean of student at St. Thomas Aquinas
Seminary with the Rev. David G. Buescher in  Halloween costumes.
Daly was appointed seminary rector in 1989, but removed from
office after the diocese paid $250,000 to settle an abuse case
filed by a graduate who was ordained and assigned to the seminary
faculty by Dalys protector:  Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe.  
Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor, 1972.

The same identification policy was in place at another assignment
I had seven years later when I was student at Kenrick in 1978.  This time I was working at a parish on North Kingshighway in St. Louis, assisting a religious order at a neighborhood summer school activities program.  Once again, the children were told to call me “Brother” Michael, because many of the youngsters participating in the program were not Catholic.

And when I worked as a student chaplain in 1977 at Jewish Hospital
in St. Louis, patients and their families often called me “Brother” Michael:  Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

Madonna Manor was an orphanage patronized by the State of Louisiana.  Many, if not most, of the children institutionalized
there were not Catholic.  It is a fact that the children would
have identified any seminarian working there as “Brother,”
just as novices or postulants with the Notre Dame order would
have been called “Sister.”

Father Buescher taught
speech and directed the
school plays at St. Thomas
Aquinas Seminary.  T
caption reads: Snydly
Source: Bishop
Anthony J. O’Connell,
The Anchor, 1975, p. 46.
Brother and Sister Victimized
Buescher grew up in Washington, Mo.  His
brother, Romuald, is a civil engineer, who
still lives in that community. 

His sister, Janet, lives in Houma, La.  Ted
has spoken kindly about this woman.  She
no longer is a nun and maintains a psycho-
therapy practice in Houma.

Janet refused to speak with me about her
brother.  She would not comment a second
time about Ted or his allegations.  Perhaps
she fears a future lawsuit will emerged from
the Madonna Manor case.

During our two telephone conversations
she expressed fear, sadness, anger, and
frustration.  She is resigned to the facts
of the case.

Romuald Buescher was more open.  During our 2010 telephone conversation, he confirmed his brothers address; talked about his brothers health; and discussed his brother’s shared living arrangement with another priest in Jefferson City.

Janet and Romuald Buescher, of course, are victims of this scandal.  Your actions have contributed to their plight.  Like Ted, they are imprisoned by your inability to express regret or remorse.

Buescher and Click:  A Murky Relationship
The David Buescher-Patrick Click correlation is less murky today.  They met in Washington, D.C., as graduate students, each pursuing an advanced degree in theology at the Catholic University of America.  Did they know each other well prior to the events at Madonna Manor?  Were they good friends on an exotic summer holiday?  And why were they in New Orleans at all given their Missouri and Indiana connections?

In 2004, the Diocese of Lafayette, Ind., and the Diocese of
Jefferson City, Mo., agreed to a secret settlement in an
abuse case implicating the Rev. Patrick R. Click (left) of
Lafayette and the Rev. David G. Buescher of Jefferson City.
Buescher “retired” rather than contest the allegations and
Bishop John R. Gaydos provided a house for the former
St.Thomas Seminary faculty member until his death on
3 February 2013.  Click continues to work as a priest for
the Indiana diocese, despite the $75,000 settlement and
the fact that the 12-year-old victim, Ted Lausche, was a
guest at Click’s 1871 ordination to the priesthood.
Msgr.  Sell would not confirm Click’s background except to say that the Diocese of Lafayette at the time educated its priests at Kenrick, the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Chicago (also called Mundelein), Catholic University, and elsewhere.

Carberry’s successor in Lafayette, Raymond Joseph Gallagher (1965-1982), may have supported the St. Louis Cardinal’s early efforts to make Kenrick a Midwestern powerhouse for clergy education.  No seminarians from Lafayette were studying at Kenrick during my time there in the late 70’s.

But no matter:  the lives of so many were transformed forever by the events at Madonna Manor in the summer of 1969.

Buescher:  A Mystery Transferred
The small community of Washington, Mo., where Buescher was
raised, is within the boundary of the Archdiocese of St. Louis:  Buescher’s obligation to the archdiocese would have been automatic.  Consequently, the history of his affiliation with Jefferson City should be reassessed.  What are the circumstances that brought Buescher
to the diocese?  Who authorized and approved his change in status?  Did Madonna Manor play a role?  What other issues led to this change of assignment?

O’Connell, as vocation director, would have recruited Buescher for Jefferson City and promoted his candidacy for ordination.  The diocese’s history of admitting shady characters into its ranks is well-documented, as we have seen with the recent indictment and arrest of the notorious New Jersey priest Carmine Sita, who was installed as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church (1983-1984), Boonville; and introduced to the parishioners as Gerald Howard.

As rector of St. Thomas, O’Connell appointed Buescher to the STAS faculty (1971-1975) to teach religion, liturgy, music, and speech:
I graduated in May, 1971;  Buescher arrived in September with the title of spiritual director and guidance counselor.

Father Buescher was St Thomas Aquinas Seminary spiritual director
and faculty member 1971-1975: hired by Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell during his tenure as rector of the Hannibal boarding
Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor, 1972.

O’Connell accepted seminarians rejected by other dioceses.
The St. Louis archdiocese, for example, rejected the Rev. Phillip Moriarity because of his physical handicap.  John Cardinal Carberry wanted only a certain kind of priest, and Phil did not meet that criteria.  He was my friend and excellent representative of the Catholic faith.  During our time together at Kenrick he shared his frustrations with a system that allowed other students to ridicule
his vocation because of his impediments.

St. Louis rejected the Rev. Eric Schlacter.  The Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, rejected Msgr. David Cox as result of sexual improprieties with the Rev. Gary Pool during their undergraduate studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum (more about Cox later).  Schlacter, Cox, and I were students together at Kenrick.

But Buescher would have been an exceptional Carberry candidate:  blond, blue-eyed, a winning smile, tall and slender.  You and Higi would know this considering your close association with Carberry.

So there must have been a problem, if Buescher chose to work in rural Missouri.  And it now appears that Ted Lausche and Madonna Manor prompted his transfer.

Buescher: A Youth Magnate
And yet, McAuliffe, O’Connell, and you cultivated Buescher as a “youth” priest.  He was popular with students and young people he encountered.  Parents trusted their children with him.

Buescher made a great impression on students at St. Thomas.  He inspired many to succeed academically.  His charm and demeanor
led many a gauche youth to aspire to a new level of sophistication. 
David G. Buescher (second from left) con-celebrates the Mass with
the Rev. John H. Fischer (center, with bread).  When Bishop
Anthony J. O’Connell was rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary
he appointed Fischer to teacher Gregorian Chant as an adjunct
faculty member.  Fischer, a notorious child predator, was not
qualified for this position.  Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell,
The Anchor, 1975, p. 27

In particular, he was a talented speech and drama coach.  He directed student productions and worked in tandem with Msgr. Jacques Wenting with sophisticated costuming and make-up.  STAS Halloween parties under their direction are legendary.

I recall the time that Buescher allowed a STAS senior named Greg Higley, who now is your vicar general, to drive his car from St. Louis to Hannibal.  They were involved in a serious traffic accident on a stretch of highway between Bowling Green and Hannibal when Greg passed a car signaling a right turn.  The driver decided to make a left turn instead, forcing Greg and Buescher off the roadway.

Gaydos: Lying in Public
In 2004, you told the media that Buescher had retired with no mention of the $75,000 settlement with Mr. Lausche.  But the 2003-2004 Diocesan Directory indicates that he was still active as a clergyman, assigned to St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City.

The story of the Buescher-Click settlement is unnerving.

Buescher gaming with his boss, Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe. 
Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor, 1973, p. 36

You delayed the process at least three years by allowing Buescher
to remain in The Netherlands where he was working as a chaplain at The Hague for an English-speaking congregation.  The assignment was a legal maneuver to delay negotiations and protect Buescher from legal action.

It appears that Buescher only returned to the United States because he contracted lung cancer (he was a heavy smoker).  The removal of a lung resulted in complications that remain chronic today.

Buescher’s health then was used as wedge to deny justice and further minimize his plight.  Ted was never allowed to confront Buescher.  City Buescher’s health statue, you refused to identify the case publicly.  You prevented a legitimate investigation by civil and church authorities, suggesting mercy for the sick.

Patrick Click: Hiding in Plain Sight
You and Bishop Higi then savaged Ted Lausche’s reputation just as Buescher and Click savaged his childhood innocence.  Your silence marginalized the crime.  Secrecy sheltered the sex offenders from public scrutiny.

On 18 March 2010, I spoke with Click’s office representative at St. Louis de Montforte Church in Fishers, Ind.  I was told he was in meetings for
the day.  I left my name and telephone number along with a message
about Ted and asked for a return call with the knowledge that there
would be no response.

Throughout Anthony J. O’Connell’s 26-year tenure
at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, 20 percent to
30 percent of faculty would be identified as
predatory priests.  In 1975, three of these teachers
are Manus P. Daly, O’Connell, and David Buescher.
Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor,
1975, p.6.

I placed a second call to Click on March 19.  This time his office manager told me that Click was on vacation until April 28.  I was directed to contact Msgr. Sell for comment.

Sell was non-plussed when I asked why the pastor would be away from his congregation at the height of the Lenten and Easter season.  He said that priests in the Lafayette diocese are not required to notify Bishop Higi about their vacation schedules.  He disclosed no other information about Click.

Buescher’s Employment History
David Buescher preaching to
students at St. Thomas Seminary. 
Source: Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell, The Anchor, 1975.

When we first published this account
in April 2010,  we had to cobble
together data about Buescher’s
assignments from public records
and the Official Catholic Directory.
We also had help from those
knowledgeable about this matter
to create a partial employment
history.  For example:

Buescher is a former St. Thomas
Seminary faculty member
(24 August 1971-15 July 1977).  
He remained on the payroll and
benefited from a rent-free living
the last 15 years of his life in a house
owned by the diocese at 708 Marshall,
Jefferson City.  And Buescher was
ordained 22 May 1971 for the
Diocese of Jefferson City. 

Unusual Obituary Highlights Predator’s Assignments in Detail
Since then, we have learned that Bishop Gaydos allowed Buescher to deceive former parishioners who celebrated his 40th anniversary as a priest: a career riddled with drug abuse, gambling, and similar low-life activity.  Sources also noted that Buescher was assigned to an international parish in The Netherlands to escape gambling debts.  

And yet, Buescher received a warm send off with a funeral at the Cathedral of St. Joseph; unlike his patron, Anthony J. O’Connell,
who was unceremoniously dumped into a grave with no mention
of his demise. 

We have to wonder about the secrets Buescher possessed that allowed you, Bishop Gaydos, to trick the parishioners at St. Anthony Church, Camdenton, who gathered to celebrate this man’s 40-year career as a priest.  We also have to consider the power of this information that led McAuliffe to transfer Buescher to The Netherlands, a country that has decriminalized recreational drug use and become a venue for the transportation of cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines.  During Buescher’s four-year-tenure in The Netherlands, the Dutch lowered age of consent to 12, legally permitting sexual intercourse between adults and children (the statute was in effect 1990-2002). 

One of the interesting aspects about Buescher’s death (6 January 1946-3 February 3, 2013) is his published obituary and the intricate detail that chronicles his assignment history.  A typical obituary may include some career highlights and generalized dates, but Buescher’s life story is a pinpointed chronology tracked to the day and date of each assignment and transfer. 

An Atypical Career History
Also Buescher’s career history is atypical for a parish priest; and we suspect that this information is a message of support for victims of clergy sexual abuse in that it is a roadmap for those yet unable to acknowledge their past.  His death notice reads as follows: 

“Father Buescher was appointed Temporary Associate of St. Martin Parish in St. Martins, Missouri, from July 10-August 8, 1971.  He was on faculty at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal from August 24, 1971-July 15, 1977.   During this time, Father Buescher further studied at Quincy College in Quincy, Illinois, and Saint Louis University in St. Louis and was appointed part-time Associate Pastor of Hannibal Catholic Parish on August 7, 1973. 

“He was appointed Pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Rich Fountain and the Diocesan Youth Director from July 15, 1977 to 1979. In 1979, Father Buescher was away on study at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and served as Campus Chaplain there until 1982.   While he was in Washington, D.C., he spent a year in community with the Paulist Fathers. “On June 29, 1982, he was appointed Associate Director of the Office of Spiritual Renewal of the Laity and to the faculty of the Permanent Diaconate Office until 1988.   He was appointed Temporary Administrator of St. Brendan Church in Mexico on August 18, 1986.

“Father Buescher was then appointed Pastor of St. Anthony Church
in Camdenton, St. Bernadette Church in Hermitage and Our Lady of
the Snows Church in Climax Springs from July 17, 1988, to
April 16, 1990.  From April 17, 1990, to September 10, 1994, he
was assigned as Pastor of the Church of Our Saviour, the
English-speaking international Roman Catholic parish of The
Hague in the Netherlands.

“He then returned to the Diocese of Jefferson City and was appointed Director of the Newman Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and Associate Pastor of St. Patrick Church in Rolla on September 3, 1994.   Father Buescher also returned to the faculty of the Permanent Diaconate Office and continued until his death.

“Father Buescher was appointed Temporary Administrator of Holy Cross Church in Cuba, St. Francis Caracciolo Church in Bourbon and St. Michael Church in Steelville on March 1, 1996.   He was appointed Director of the Lincoln University Newman Center and Catholic Chaplain at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City on
May 15, 1997, until August 7, 1999.

“He was appointed Temporary Administrator of St. Brendan Church, Mexico from August 7, 1999, to June 3, 2000.   He served as a Chaplain of the House of Representatives from January to May 2000, and was available for weekend supply help.

“Father Buescher was appointed Director of the Office of Spiritual Renewal of the Laity on July 1, 2000, to July 1, 2004.  He also worked as a Volunteer In Corrections at the Algoa Correctional Center in Jefferson City. He was appointed Senior Priest in Service at the Cathedral of St. Joseph on June 30, 2001, until he retired on July 1, 2004, due to health reasons.

“Father Buescher celebrated his 25th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination on June 16, 1996, at St. Patrick Church in Rolla, Missouri.   He celebrated his 40th Anniversary at St. Anthony Church in Camdenton on June 26, 2011.”

An Unhappy Cleric
David Buescher conducting Ash
Wednesday services for  students
at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary.
Source: Anthony J. O’Connell,
The Anchor, 1975, p.53.
According to a well-placed diocesan
source, Buescher was “never very
happy for very long in any niche.”
For a time, Buescher was treated
as an out-patient at the psychiatric
clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital in
Richmond Heights and lived at a
St. Louis rectory.  Although Buescher
confided in this source (a priest) from
time to time, he never elaborated on
his psychiatric care or health status.

“One little thing about Dave Buescher
that really annoyed me, however, was
his practice of showing up at my rectory
at about 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. on a hot
summer Saturday afternoon .  .  .  . 

He would change into his running shoes
and his red silk running shorts (no shirt)
and go jogging through town.

It dismayed some of my parishioners to encounter David ‘streaking’
through the parking lot at one or another of the shopping centers
along Highway 5 .  .  . 

“I suggested that he .  .  .  drive a few miles out of town in any direction and find a lot of wide open territory where his jogging wouldn’t perplex anybody, and as far as I knew, he took my advice.”

On 24 November 2004, this priest reported to me that Buescher “in the past year or two has been living at the cathedral rectory [in Jefferson City], and several people have told me that he looks very ill and behaves sluggishly .  .  .  . 

Some gossip has it that he has AIDS, fueled perhaps because no one is willing to state exactly what his illness is.  Just a few days ago I got a Thanksgiving card and note from [CB] .  .  . 

She writes that Buescher told her that he has had a lung removed and was going to move into a house he has purchased near the cathedral.”

A Particular Friend: Bishop Michael J. Sheridan
Michael J. Sheridan, bishop
of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
has maintained a long-term
particular friendship with
the Rev. David G. Buescher.
Perhaps Buescher’s most intimate friend
from the years that I knew him as a
seminarian at Kenrick is Michael J. Sheridan, the former auxiliary bishop
of St.  Louis and now bishop of Colorado
Springs, Colo.

Sheridan was my theology professor at
Kenrick in the late ’70s.  He and Buescher
often spent weekends together.  Buescher
would arrive at Kenrick on a Thursday or
Friday afternoon; visit with Jefferson City
seminarians; and then depart with Sheridan
in tow.  In some circles they were recognized
as lovers:  a romantic golden couple.

“Bishop Sheridan is another case,” according to my source.  “Deacon JM is an accountant and the business manager [in St. Louis] .  .  .  .  He’s very sharp but also very blunt.

“He .  .  .  was Sheridan’s classmate at Kenrick, and even in those days Sheridan was famous as a patron of gay bars in the Saint Louis area.  Apparently he boasted of it openly.  .  .  .”

In recent years, Sheridan has developed a reactionary, fundamentalist streak.  He has, for example, encouraged the excommunication of Catholic politicians who remain neutral toward abortion. 

But as my priest friend notes: “My own net feeling is that you need to be extremely wary of people who are extremely righteous on any subject whatever.  Look at what has happened to such luminaries as Jimmy Swaggart, Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh et al.  The most vocal and vicious homophobes are almost always covering for their own homosexuality.”

A Hero Justified
We know little of the status of the Buescher-Sheridan relationship today.  We know nothing of the Buescher-Click friendship except that it probably dissolved in a quagmire of secrecy on that day long ago in the summer of 1969.

But we seldom have difficulty recognizing heroes.  These folks exhibit extraordinary strength of character and do not fear criticism when misappropriated power inflicts harm. 

Ted Lausche is hero.  He summoned the courage necessary to
step forward and speak honestly about a heinous crime.  He asked for justice.  He has not his just due.  But Ted remains unbowed,
up-standing, and brave.

Perhaps justice may be acknowledged his cause some day.

Next Time: The Journey of Msgr. David D.  Cox


  1. This started out to be in letter form. So shouldn't you have signed it at the end?

  2. Fr. Buescher was pastor at Sacred Heart in Rich Fountain from around 1977-79.

  3. Is my memory wrong or did Buescher work at St. Patrick parish in Rolla sometime around 1994-96? He disappeared abruptly to get, as I recall, counseling.

  4. This page (now outdated) references a Fr. David Buescher:
    I believe that fills in a gap in his employment.

  5. I was Raped By All the Male Staff in St Mary's Cathedral 1 block East of I-25 and Bijou St.
    Carmen Sita was The Lead Priest, He Had a Few Big Body Gaurds,. I could Barelly understand there Language. I asked where he was from and He said New Jersey. He Offered a Glass of Water.
    He Put a Big Medicine in the Water He Got For Me.
    I Lost Partial Consciousness, When They Did Deep Penetration I woke up Screaming,. Tears coming out. I was Thouroghely Raped By Many Men.
    At the End my Intestines Hung out 5 or 6 inches for weeks before I got them Back in. Embarresing in School Locker room and Shower In Manitou Springs Junior High, 1st Year.

  6. Happened in 1981 September or October in Colorado Springs Colorado in St Mary's Cathedral,. Two Nuns walked in while I was being Raped. They asked quite a few Questions,. They Helped Me Re-Dress. I was Naked when they Found me. Step Mother Debbie was asking about me. She Took Me and Brother Home In Manitou Springs Colorado Later, WandererWandering