Joseph Francis Busch

Joseph Francis Busch (April 18, 1866May 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. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, MI: Walter Romig.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Kingsbury, George Washington (1915). History of Dakota Territory. IV. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.
  3. 1 2 3 4 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.
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