The Diocese of Jefferson City
A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Thy Child's Face blog
April 11, 2010

Childproof 7: Father Buescher and the Gang of Six

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. 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.
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 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

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 Church 
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 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?”

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 Daly’s 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 brother’s address; talked about his brother’s 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 th
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 frompublic 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.








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