Father Robert Anthony Busch, Ph.D., who served as Pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Canyon and Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo, passed away August 27, 2019. He was 57 years old.
The Vigil for the Deceased will be celebrated Friday, August 30, 2019, at 6:30 p.m., at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Canyon. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, August 31, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Ann’s in Canyon with Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, presiding, with priests of the Diocese of Amarillo and other dioceses concelebrating. Burial will be in Memory Gardens.
Robert Anthony Busch was born April 3, 1962 in Amityville, NY, the son of Leonard Anthony Busch and Patricia Ann Busch. The family relocated to Los Alamos, NM.
Busch attended West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University), Canyon, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Speech Communication.
After graduating from WT, Busch hosted the Catholic Bible Hour with then-Bishop Leroy T. Matthiesen on KGNC-AM radio in 1988 and 1989. He also served as Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Amarillo and as a faculty member at Alamo Catholic High School (now Holy Cross Catholic Academy), Amarillo.
On May 30, 1992, Busch was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate by Bishop Matthiesen at St. Laurence Cathedral (now St. Laurence Church), Amarillo. He returned to St. Laurence on Jan. 9, 1993, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Matthiesen. Father Busch celebrated his first Mass the following day at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.
Father Busch spent a majority of his 26½ years in the priesthood in higher education. He taught at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., St. Mary’s College and Seminary in Baltimore, and at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla, where he was the Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. He also taught several satellite classes for Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio.
After earning a M.T.S. in Systematic Theology from Oblate School of Theology, Fr. Busch resided in New York City while pursuing a Doctorate in Systematic Theology from Fordham University. During his studies in New York, he assisted on weekends at St. Malachy’s Catholic Church near Times Square and Broadway, also known as “The Actor’s Chapel.” Father Busch returned to the Diocese of Amarillo, where he was appointed Chaplain and Director of the Catholic Student Center at West Texas A&M University, Canyon. While at the Catholic Student Center, he was an adjunct professor of religion and philosophy and was a priest in residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.
During his stint at the CSC, Father Busch also served for seven years as director of the Institute for Pastoral Ministry, a lay ministry formation program in the diocese, and was formation director and instructor for the Deacon Formation Program, coordinated the diocesan Fall Theology Seminar and the Spring Scripture Seminar. On July 1, 1997, he was appointed Director of Christian Education and Formation for the Diocese of Amarillo. In this post, he coordinated the offices of Catholic Schools, Christian Formation, the Permanent Diaconate, and the Lay Ministry Program.
In 1999, Father Busch was named Parochial Administrator at St. Mary’s Church, Umbarger and was later appointed Parochial Administrator at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Dalhart and St. Mary’s Church, Texline.
On July 22, 2010, Father Busch was appointed Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo and later as Head of School at Holy Cross Catholic Academy where he also taught classes and founded and coached the award-winning speech and debate team. During these years, he served several terms as a member and president of the Presbyteral Council as well as on the Priests Retirement Committee.
He was appointed Pastor at St. Ann’s Church, Canyon, and remained in all three positions until he stepped down from his education responsibilities at the end of the 2017-18 school year, remaining as Pastor of St. Ann’s until his death.
A loving son, brother, uncle and godfather, Father Busch was preceded in death by his father, Leonard Anthony Busch.
Survivors include his mother, Patricia Ann Busch, of Los Alamos, N.M.; his brother, John Busch, of Austin; his sister and brother-in-law, Doreen and Alan Stanton, niece and goddaughter Christina Stanton, and nephew Brian Stanton, all of Santa Fe, N.M., three godsons, many friends and relatives, and his brother priests of the Diocese of Amarillo and elsewhere.
Memorials may be sent to Holy Cross Catholic Academy, 4110 S. Bonham St., Amarillo, TX 79110.