As if Daniel Dolan’s sly little dig at Fr. Bernard Hall in his August 7, 2011 Bishop’s Corner was not enough (see Dolan Outdoes Himself Again: Part Two) he has outdone himself yet again – but this time, not so slyly or subtly. Hence, we present you with “part three” of this trilogy. Again, Dauntless Dan had the tactlessness to proudly proclaim, in his Bishop’s Corner column of August 14, that he and Cekada had attended the funeral of Sue Nies (the wife of Tom Nies), who was buried this past week from Immaculate Conception Church in Norwood, Ohio – yes, the same Immaculate Conception Church from which Bernie Brueggemann was buried.
“So what?” you might say. Well, first, some background: Tom Nies, as many will recall, was one of the original “charter members” of Saint Gertrude the Great (SGG) back when it was located in Sharonville, Ohio. In fact, he was perhaps the main original benefactor of SGG. He was the one who purchased the original building in Sharonville, which was then renamed St. Gertrude the Great Church. Tom then left SGG some years later, for reasons that this writer does not know for sure (but for which he could hazard some pretty close guesses). Tom ended up at Immaculate Conception Church (whose pastor is Fr. William Jenkins), from which his wife was buried. After Tom left SGG, Bernie Brueggemann took over as SGG’s biggest benefactor; but, as we all know, Bernie eventually left as well.
Now, herein lies the rub: when Bernie Brueggemann died, Dolan and Cekada did not attend his funeral Mass. They didn’t come to his wake (visitation); and they didn’t even come to see him buried at his gravesite. When Sue died, they not only came to her funeral Mass but also walked in the funeral procession at the cemetery, proudly proclaiming it in the SGG bulletin’s Bishop’s Corner column. Why the deference to Tom Nies’ wife and not to Bernie Brueggemann? – Bernie, who gave even more to SGG and was arguably its greatest benefactor; Bernie, the man single-handedly responsible for funding the present facility that Dolan and Cekada enjoy, worship, and reside in; Bernie, without whose help they would still be in their crowded Sharonville facility. Why didn’t they show him the same deference?
Why? It’s simple: they knew that they had sucked Bernie Brueggemann dry of money; the Brueggemann cash cow was depleted – but NOT the Tom Nies cash cow! So why bother going to Bernie’s funeral? There was nothing to be materially gained from doing that; but -- the Nieses? Chi-ching! You bet there was! You see, although Tom Nies left SGG under what we can assume were less than “optimal” terms, Tom’s son Eric still continued to go there for some time (although he too, reportedly, left in time). But perhaps the cash-strapped clergy of SGG could “win them back” some way, so – voilà! – they showed up at the funeral, oozing their oily charm. Wow, what a stroke of genius!
Genius? Stupidity! To their fawning, hard-core aficionados at SGG, their attendance was perhaps interpreted as a mission of good will; but to anyone smarter or more perceptive than the average amoeba, it was seen for what it was: an embarrassingly naked attempt to get back into the good (financial) graces of the Nies family -- and it deceived NO ONE. It is just another manifestation of how embarrassingly transparent one can get when his greed and avarice overwhelm his brain. Daniel, in your greed and avaricious ambition, you threw caution to the wind, and made a blatant play for sympathy, when you figured that the family would be more susceptible to being in a “receptive” frame of mind. Do you really think they’re that naive?!
While you and Cekada were attending Sue Nies’ funeral Mass, did you forget that you did no such thing for Bernie Brueggemann? And while you were marching in her funeral procession at the cemetery, did it ever occur to you that Bernie at least deserved the same? You didn’t even pay your respects to him at his wake – to Bernie, the greatest benefactor that SGG has ever had, both spiritually and materially – yet you go “pay your respects” to someone to whom you haven’t spoken for years, at a church whose clerical group you described as having had a “scandalous inception in 1989” (see link). Why was it so “scandalous” for you to be at Bernie’s funeral but not at the Nies funeral -- in the exact same church presided over by the exact same priest, in BOTH cases?
Who are you trying to kid, Danny? Do you really think that this disparity in your behavior is going to go unnoticed by the Nies family – or anyone else, for that matter? Do you think that they’re really going to swallow your mercenary ploy as some kind of “grand gesture”? And if you folks at OLS in Arizona are reading this, you’d better pay attention: this is the kind of people you are dealing with; if you shake their hand, be sure to keep your other hand on your pocket-book!
It is ironic that Dolan and Cekada plied their mercenary strategy at the Nies funeral, especially in light of what Cekada recently said about Abbot Giardina in Quidlibet: “Father’s [Abbot Giradina’s] caginess on the pope question and his repeated ‘We-too-spiritual-for-controversies’ protests, though, struck me as nothing more than a two-pronged fund-raising ploy: (1) Say absolutely nothing about the pope, so you can hit up all categories of traditionalists for donations: sedevacantists, SSPX-ers, independents, and Motu types; [and] (2) Play up the ‘I’m-only-a-humble-unworldly-monk’ routine.” Where is your tact, Anthony? Where is your brain? Where is your conscience?
Cekada’s Quidlibet remarks, overlaid on his and Dolan’s behavior at the Nies funeral, add new and lucid meaning to the word hypocrisy. My advice to this un-dynamic duo is this: quit while you’re behind! You two have not only lost your credibility, but your self-respect as well. It’s time to cut your losses and make your exit plans – but not to some hedonism-friendly retreat. You need instead to exit in poverty and humility – preferably to a monastery – so that your entrance into the next world will be better than the one to which your presently-chosen path is leading you.