• October 18, 2019

Father Robert Bush returns - Odessa American: People

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Father Robert Bush returns

Popular priest arrives from Abilene to serve South Odessa

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Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2019 5:00 am

Recently assigned as parochial vicar of St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony’s Catholic Churches, the Rev. Robert Bush is well-known in the Permian Basin for his leadership in encouraging teenagers to be faithful and in the Diocese of San Angelo’s charismatic movement.

Joining Fathers Frank Chavez and Tony Franco at the South Odessa churches, Father Bush comes here from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Abilene, having previously served at Crane, San Angelo, Stanton and Big Spring and twice here at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

“Celebrating Mass is the highlight of the day for me because it is the most important thing I do and the most important thing that Catholics do,” he said. “We worship the Lord through the Eucharist and I feel close to the Lord when I do that.”

Asked if his experience with the Eucharist has changed during his career, Bush said, “In some ways it is the same and in some ways it has grown because I have grown closer to the Lord.

“It’s a deeper experience.”

Bush is a 76-year-old Waco native who graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston and was ordained at Brownwood, where he had lived for six years during his youth. His dad Victor was a Rice University-educated architect who built Army camps during World War II. His mother’s name was Aline Delahoussaye. He has a sister.

Noting that a parochial vicar is in effect an associate pastor, Bush said his work with young people in the diocese’s Search Retreat program has been a milestone. “I have enjoyed working with the youth for almost 50 years,” he said.

“Bringing them closer to the Lord helps them to be more solid in the faith, more alive and closer to the church.”

Reached at a retreat in Ariccia, Italy, Bishop Michael Sis said Bush “for many years guided the Search Retreat movement for teenagers and even though he is no longer working with Search Retreat, the movement continues to be strong throughout the diocese, led by a group of lay leaders.

“Father Bush has also been active in the Catholic charismatic experience, which is shared by other Christians as well.”

Sis said Bush was a good choice for Odessa because he had served here before and is well-liked. “A lot of people remember him,” the bishop said.

“He is very popular, praying for people’s personal needs and healing. The people of St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony’s are appreciative of his praying for them.

“It’s a large parish with many parishioners, so to have the availability of a priest to spend time with them, especially to pray with them and answer spiritual questions, is a tremendous blessing.”

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