Bishop David B. Thompson: Well done, my good and faithful servant

Bishop Thompson's funeral Mass

Bishop Thompson's funeral MassBishop Thompson's casket is sensedBishop Thompson's funeral MassBishop Thompson's burialFather West sprinkles holy water on the casketCHARLESTON—The Most. Reverend David B. Thompson, retired bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, was laid to rest on Dec. 4 among a large crowd of friends and family.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and concelebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone and many others, including Msgr. Edward J. Thompson, the bishop’s twin brother, of Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Their sister, Betty Hutton of Vermillion, S.D., was also present, sitting in the front row with other family members.

Concelebrants at the Mass included Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Abbot Stan Gumula of Mepkin Abbey, Bishop Emeritus J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Bishops Robert. J. Baker of Birmingham, Ronald Gainer of Lexington, John Noonan of Orlando, Victor Galeone of Saint Augustine, Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, P.J. McGrath of San Jose, and dozens of the diocesan priests.

Msgr. James A. Carter, pastor of Christ Our King Church in Mount Pleasant, was the homilist, and delivered a moving tribute that had mourners laughing in remembrance and appreciation even as they wiped tears from their eyes.

He spoke of the bishop’s love of being a priest and celebrating the Eucharist, his love of being a bishop with its emphasis on ecclesiastical protocol and accompanying accouterments, and his love of faith, life and friendship.

The joy that Bishop Thompson felt and gave to others was echoed in the many stories that were told during and after the service, with one of the most common themes being his exacting attention to detail and his love for golf.

“If there is a golf course in heaven, I am sure that David Thompson is pleading with the Almighty to appoint him Golf Commissioner,” Msgr. Carter said.

While fond memories evoked laughter, it was still an emotionally difficult day for those closest to Bishop Thompson. As they processed into the Cathedral, many priests paused at the casket to bow their head in honor, while others quietly laid their palms on it.

The funeral Mass was followed by a short graveside service outside the Cathedral. People crowded along Legare Street to hear Bishop Guglielmone’s final words and witness the sprinkling of holy water over the coffin.

After, people gathered at a luncheon to share stories and comfort.

A Memorial Service will be held Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Christ Our King, where Bishop Thompson served as an honorary member of the staff since his retirement. All are welcome to attend.

Read more about Bishop Thompson in the Dec. 12 edition of The Catholic Miscellany.