Childproof 7: Father Buescher and the Gang of Six
David G. Buescher
b. 6 January 1946
d. 3 February 2013
Source: The Anchor, 1972
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
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.
New Orleans, La.
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.
by Cooper County Prosecutor Doug Abele
of the indictment and arrest of another
Jefferson City priest, the Rev. Gerald
Howard (formerly known as the Rev.
Carmine Sita), this information is worthy
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. Clickof 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 Child’s 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.
New Orleans Catholic orphanage called Madonna Manor. His story
is a cold case file: opened for further review last October when theArchdiocese 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
a hospital chaplain working St. Mary’s Health Care Center. Click remains a priest: he is the pastor of St. Louis de Montfort Church
in Fishers, Ind.
named to Ted Lausche. And, according to Ted, this is what you and
your colleagues are doing to him today.
Buescher as Querelle
Source: Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell, The Anchor, 1977
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.
the summer of 1969, Buescher and
Click had summer jobs at Madonna
Manor. 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.
22 months when their bishops would accept them into the priesthood in June 1971.
Rev. David G. Buescher
The Anchor, 1973
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.”
his chancellor and vicar general, utilized the same level of dishonesty and intransigence to protect their flank.
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.
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.
John J. Cardinal Carberry,
as archbishop of St. Louis
the paradigm that protects
pedophile priests to this day
throughout the Midwest.
His manufactured logic reflects a
crude sense of morality.
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 curative
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?”
Cardinal Carberry was a
dismissive church leader
who always knew he was
right even those times
when he happened to
parry and thrust until you side wins no
matter the outcome.
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.
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.
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
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.
in St. Louis, patients and their families often called me “Brother” Michael: Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
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. The
caption reads: Snydly
Whiplash. Source: Bishop
Anthony J. O’Connell,
The Anchor, 1975, p. 46.
brother, Romuald, is a civil engineer, who
still lives in that community.
has spoken kindly about this woman. She
no longer is a nun and maintains a psycho-
therapy practice in Houma.
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.
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 brother’s address; talked about his brother’s health; and discussed his brother’s shared living arrangement with another priest in Jefferson City.
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?
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
school. Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor, 1972.
his vocation because of his impediments.
led many a gauche youth to aspire to a new level of sophistication.
Buescher gaming with his boss, Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe.
Source: Bishop Anthony J. O’Connell, The Anchor, 1973, p. 36
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.
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.
David Buescher preaching to
students at St. Thomas Seminary.
Source: Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell, The Anchor, 1975.
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.”
David Buescher conducting Ash
Wednesday services for students
at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary.
Source: Anthony J. O’Connell,
The Anchor, 1975, p.53.
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.
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.
through the parking lot at one or another of the shopping centers
along Highway 5 . . .
Michael J. Sheridan, bishop
of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
has maintained a long-term
particular friendship with
the Rev. David G. Buescher.
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
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.
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.