The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Friday, May 17, 2013

Childproof 42: David Buescher — An Acounting of Character and Life Achievements



Page 42
 

Dear Bishop Gaydos:
 
We received word that the Rev. David G. Buescher (6 January 1946 — 3 February 2013) passed away in February.  We would like to include his obituary in Thy Child’s Face to record some relevant facts about his life.  We also wish to point out that this account of his character and life achievements comprises a detailed assignment history, which only can be interpreted as a message to survivors of clergy sexual abuse tracking known predators:


Rev. David Gene Buescher, 6 January 1946 — 3 February 2013:  As a faculty
member at St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary, Hannibal, Mo., Father
Buescher was photographed by Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell for the high
school yearbook, The Anchor (page seven, 1972 and 1976, respectively).
Later in his career we have a color photograph (c. 1996) and an image posted
on his Facebook page in 2011. 
 
 
The Rev. David Gene Buescher, 67, Jefferson City, Mo. died peacefully 13 February 2013. Buescher was born on January 6, 1946, in Washington, Mo.  He was the son of the late Alfred J. Buescher, Sr. and Zita J. (Voelkerding) Buescher.

As a Catholic priest, he served as pastor or administrator at a number of Catholic parishes in central and south-central Missouri.  He retired in 2004, citing poor health.

Buescher’s retirement in 2004 coincided with the Diocese of Jefferson City participation in a $75,000 settlement involving a victim of Madonna Manor, a Roman Catholic orphanage in New Orleans, La., owned and operated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Dallas, Texas, province.  In 2009, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Madonna Manor were forced into at $5.2 million packaged settlement of 20 additional abuse cases. 

Buescher worked at the orphanage as a summertime employee throughout his graduate studies at Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.  A second party to the settlement is the Rev.Patrick R. Click and the Diocese of Lafayette, Ind.  Click and Buescher were classmates; and Click still works as a priest for the Lafayette diocese. 

Buescher received his primary education at St. Francis Borgia Elementary School, Washington, Mo., 1951-1959.  He is an alumnus of St. Joseph High Minor Seminary, Westmont, Ill., 1959-1963.  The Order of the Friars Minor (Franciscans) of the Sacred Heart Province operated the high school 1927-1978. 

Buescher continued his seminary education at Cardinal Glennon College, St. Louis, Mo., 1963-1967; and completed his theological training at Catholic University, 1967-1971.  Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe ordained Buescher on 22 May 1971 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Washington, Mo., as a priest for the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo.  Normally Buescher would have been incardinated in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, his birthplace.  The rational for the transfer to another diocese remains a mystery. 

Buescher was appointed Temporary Associate of St. Martin Parish, St. Martins, Mo., 10 July 10 1971-8 August 1971.  The Rev. Anthony J. O’Connell, rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Hannibal, recommended his faculty appointment: a 6-year-tenure, 24 August 1971-15 July 15.  During this time, Buescher continued his education at Quincy College, Quincy, Ill., and Saint Louis University, St. Louis.  He also worked as a part-time Associate Pastor at Hannibal Catholic Church, 7 August 1973-15 July 1977. 

Buescher’s next was appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Rich Fountain and Diocesan Youth Director, from July 15, 1977 to 1979.  In 1979, he returned to study at Catholic University and serve as Campus Chaplain there until 1982.  While in the District of Columbia, he spent a year in community with the Paulist Fathers. 

Buescher returned to Jefferson City, when Bishop McAuliffe appointed Buescher to the Chancery staff as Associate Director of the Office of Spiritual Renewal of the Laity and to the faculty of the Permanent Diaconate Office from 29 June 1982 until 1988.  In addition, Buescher also was assigned as Temporary Administrator of St. Brendan Church, Mexico, 18 August 1986.

Buescher then left the Chancery to become Pastor of three small parishes:  St. Anthony Church, Camdenton; St. Bernadette Church, Hermitage; and Our Lady of the Snows Church, Climax Springs,  17 July 1988-16 April 1990. 

From 17 April 1990 until 10 September 1994, Buescher was assigned as Pastor of the Church of Our Saviour, the English-speaking international Roman Catholic parish of The Hague in the Netherlands.  According to a number of sources Buescher was transferred to the European continent to escape gambling debts and also to treat chemical addiction. 

When Buescher returned to the Diocese of Jefferson City this time, McAuliffe appointed him as Director of the Newman Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and Associate Pastor of St. Patrick Church, Rolla, on September 3, 1994.  Buescher also was reassigned to the faculty of the Permanent Diaconate Office, which he continued until his death. 

Buescher was appointed 1 March 1996 as Temporary Administrator for three parishes:  Holy Cross Church, Cuba; St. Francis Caracciolo Church, Bourbon; and St. Michael Church, Steelville.  He then was named Director of the Lincoln University Newman Center and Catholic Chaplain at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, 15 May 1997-7 August 1999. 

Buescher’s next assignment was Temporary Administrator of St. Brendan Church, Mexico, 7 August 1999-3 June 2000.  He was a Chaplain of the Missouri House of Representatives, January- May 2000. 

Bishop John R. Gaydos appointed Buescher as Director of the Office of Spiritual Renewal of the Laity, 1July 2000-1 July 2004.  Buescher also worked as a Volunteer in Corrections at the Algoa Correctional Center, Jefferson City. 

Gaydos then appointed Buescher Senior Priest in Service at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Jefferson City, 30 June 2001-1 July 2004. 

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

Father Buescher is survived by his brother, Romuald L. Buescher; his sister, Janet Buescher; and his sister-in-law, Susan Buescher.   He was preceded in death by his father (1982); his mother (1999); his sister, Carol Buescher, and his brother, Alfred J. Buescher, Jr. 

Visitation was held at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Jefferson City, Thursday, 7 February 2013, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.  Visitation was held Friday, 8 February 2013 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  A Funeral Mass was conducted 11:00 a.m. with Bishop John R. Gaydos presiding. 

A second Mass of Christian Burial was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Washington, at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, 9 February 2013, with the Rev. Daniel I. Lueckenotte, St. Elizabeth, Mo., presiding (Lueckenotte is a St. Thomas alumnus and former Buescher student).  Burial followed at St. Francis Borgia Cemetery, Washington, in the Buescher Family Plot, where he will be buried next to his parents. 

Arrangements were in care of the Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home, Jefferson City.




Msgr. Higley’s Telling Letter

Msgr. Gregory Higley's letter below, describes in interesting detail the interaction of students with faculty members at St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary, Hannibal, Mo.  The circumstances of the cancellation of Higley's midnight meeting with Buescher and the St. Louis weekend that Buescher and the Rev. Manus P. Daly arranged with an elementary school boy are indicative of questionable behavior.  For better insight into the information that follows, please read Childproof 18:  Manus Daly and Absolute Trust:


13 February 1972 — My Eighteenth Birthday 
 
 
Dear Wegos:


Msgr. Gregory L. Higley
1972.
I’m awfully sorry that I’ve not written you for a long time.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on homework and basketball games.  I want to just thank you for the birthday card you sent me a month ago.  Yours was the first I received from anyone.  Thanks a lot.


This last weekend has probably been one of
the most dear to me in all four years up
here.  Not the only but one of the most.  It s
tarted Saturday morning.  You remember
[Dusty Anholt] – the guy that came down to
the lake while we were down there during
the summer.  Well anyway, he went to
St. Louis with Fr. Dave [and] Daly Friday
nite to see [Jesus Christ,] Super Star. 

I had made an appointment with Father Dave earlier for Friday nite but he called me up Friday morning and told me he couldn’t make that nite because he had plans in St. Louis.  I didn’t think much about it.  Daly went away that nite also but no one knew where he was going. 

Anyway Saturday morning Tim told me where Father Daly went the nite before and that he brought [Dusty] back to the Seminary to spend the night.  Later we had study hall in place of English and Daly came and got me and said he wanted me to go talk to [Dusty] in the priest lounge and entertain him.  So I went in and gave him a soda and some candy bars and had a lot of fun talking. 

Later Tim and Andy .  .  .  came in and they talked for a while.  Then for lunch Daly took us out to the Pizza Hut.  We had a ball.  [Dusty] came back and played basketball and pool for a while with us until 3:00 p.m.  Rev. Daly asked me to go down to Kingdom City with [Dusty] and him to meet his mom.  It was a lot of fun. 

We left at 1:00 p.m.  and it turned out that we had to go all the way to Jeff.  We talked a lot on the way down.  It was a nice trip except that it was raining a little.  [Dusty] drove part of the way and we got there about 6:00.

[Dusty’s] parents or family wasn’t home so we didn’t stay there very long.  We said goodbye and then went over to the Irish nuns.  We couldn’t get away till 7:00 p.m., so then we headed back to Hannibal.

The drive to Mexico was pretty bad and slow because the fog made visibility very poor.  We honestly couldn’t see five feet in front of us till another car came and, thank God, there wasn’t much traffic.  I drove from Mexico on and made time fly. 

Daly and I had a real good talk about next year and I enjoyed the drive and the company and the talk.  Most of the time when I’m on the rode [sic] that long (four hours), I really get bored and tired, but that nite I was very happy going down to Jeff and coming back.

We got back to Hannibal about 9:00 p.m.  and I treated Daly to cup of coffee at Fern’s.  Saturday nite (same nite) when I got back from the trip I went into Buescher’s room till 12:00 [midnight] and had a real good talk.

Rev. Manus P. Daly
1971 
I really felt good Sunday morning when I woke up.  In the first semester, Daly and I didn’t get along too well together but I hope our relationship is getting better.  Today (Sunday) he gave the Senior Class a steak dinner out at Brans to celebrate our birthday and then when we got back there was a surprise party.  Daly bought us [my twin brother Tim and I] a cake and we had a real good day. 

I sort of feel bad the way I’ve treated Daly this year and then he goes and does this.  Anyway I guess by now you’re just bored to death do I’ll say just a few more things and cut off.

Our basketball team isn’t too good now.  We bombed out of the Troy Tourney and have two more games and the regionals to go.  I’m glad it’s all over now.

O’C took three more seniors up to the Josephinum this past weekend so there’re only ten of us here.

Buescher started practicing for the school play today.  It’s called Hadrian VII and supposed to be real good.  He hasn’t assigned any parts but he asked me to play another woman.  I said no cause I hadn’t signed up for a part this year.  He’s got a bunch of people in it though.

We had six inches of snow last week, but it’s melting fast.  It already has snowed four times since second semester started.  That’s pretty good so far.

I think I’d better cut off now cause this letter is turning into a book.  Write me back soon, OK? At least once a week.  I’ll do the same.  Good luck in the school year.

Greg

P.S.  I’ll get your year book to you.  Also I’ll send you one of my pictures.
 
 
Msgr. Gregory L. Higley’s letter, dated 13 February 1972, describing the
relationship that the Rev. David G. Buescher and the Rev. Manus P, Daly
shared with a young boy.  Daly 
 “retired” in 2002 and returned to his
native Ireland.  Buescher   “retired” in 2004, living in Jefferson City, Mo
.
 
 
 

 
 

 

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