Dave and I go back to our theology days at Saint Francis beginning in 1969. He attended the Bishop's Latin School in Pittsburgh, a member of the first class, before going on to Saint Paul collegiate Seminary in Pittsburgh, attending Duquesne University, before moving to Saint Francis. He served a number of parishes in Pittsburgh before offering to minister in Utah, where he traveled much and spread himself thin in ministering the gentle mercy of God to people in that part of the country. He returned to Pittsburgh and took up a long pastorate in the North Side of the city before moving to West Mifflin. Everywhere he served he touched hearts and lives and endeared himself to countless people, many of whom came to share with his family their love of the man and their pride in his accomplishments.
During his time in Utah, he was given permission to adopt a son and give him a family and a place of stability. That part of Dave's family still lives in the West and David loved his son and his son's family very much. They, along with his biological family - two brothers and two sisters plus a multitude of Aunts and Uncles and cousins and their children, also found David to be that gentle presence. Two of his Aunts are parishioners of mine.
I was wondering what to says about Dave, and was a little concerned. I have used the word often here today, but David was gentle, caring, generally calm and unexcitible, hard working and quiet, prayerful and a calming presence for others. But then I listened to Father John Sweeney at the Vesper Service the eve before the funeral and Father Lou Valone at the funeral itself, both classmates and Pittsburgh priests, speak of David in ways that prompted me to simple say a quiet "yes" and "amen" to my reflections. They knew him better than I did, but my memories are spot on. He was not flashy or outstanding in a crowd, but he was a good soul and a good priest. His laughter was not loud but he appreciated and shared in humor that would find its way to his lips in a smile or a gentle laugh. His love of people and his care for them was beyond reproach.
A few of us got together following the funeral, and we shared thoughts and memories. There was only one negative thing that was expressed - and that was that David was too modest and too truly humble to accept and acknowledge the good that he did. Why was that negative? Only in this way ... that what he did could have had a greater impact by way of example upon more people, other than just those immediately involved.
But then, that was David ... humble ... and a good soul.
May his soul and the souls of all of the Faithful Departed, rest in peace.