Joseph Francis Busch

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Joseph Francis Busch (April 18, 1866—May 31, 1953) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Lead (1910–15) and Bishop of Saint Cloud (1915-53).


Joseph Busch was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, the eldest of twelve children of Frederick and Anna M. (née Weimar) Busch.[1] His parents were German immigrants; his father served for many years as president of the Goodhue County National Bank and was also president of the La Grange mills.[2] He received his early education at the public and parochial schools of Red Wing, and afterwards attended parochial schools in Mankato.[2] He attended Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, before entering Campion College in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he completed his classical studies.[1] He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.[1]

Busch was ordained to the priesthood on July 28, 1889.[3] He furthered his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., for one year.[2] He then returned to Minnesota and served as secretary of Archbishop John Ireland for two years.[2] He also served as a curate at St. Mary's Church and St. Paul's Cathedral, both in St. Paul.[1] He founded St. Augustine's Church of St. Paul in 1896, serving as its first pastor.[4] He later served at St. Lawrence Church in Minneapolis and St. Anne Church in Le Sueur.[2] In 1902, he established the diocesan missionary band of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, serving as its director until 1910.[1]

On April 9, 1910, Busch was appointed the second Bishop of Lead, South Dakota, by Pope Pius X.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 19 from Archbishop Ireland, with Bishops James McGolrick and James Trobec serving as co-consecrators.[3] During his tenure, he called for the abolition of work on Sundays and subsequently received so much criticism that he was forced to relocate to Rapid City.[5]

On January 19, 1915, Busch was appointed the fourth Bishop of Saint Cloud in Minnesota by Pope Benedict XV.[3] In 1917, he became the first chairman of the Stearns County chapter of the American Red Cross.[6] He was named an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne in 1923.[1] He served in Saint Cloud until his death at age 87.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, MI: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Kingsbury, George Washington (1915). History of Dakota Territory. IV. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 
  3. ^ a b c d Cheney, David M. "Bishop Joseph Francis Busch". 
  4. ^ "About Our Parishes". St. Augustine and Holy Trinity Catholic Churches. 
  5. ^ "BISHOP EXILED FROM HIS SEE CITY". The Morning Leader. 1913-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Agency - American Red Cross - MN - St. Cloud". Live United.