Sister Ann Busch ~ 1940-2012
Administrators at St. Anne Catholic School in Barrington and St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights counseled grieving students this week, after the passing of the former 10-year St. Anne's principal Sr. Ann Busch.
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She died Sunday at the mother home of her religious order, the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. She was 72.
"She was a dedicated educator of children," said the Rev. Fred Licciardi, former pastor at St. Anne Church, now at St. Raymond de Penafort in Mount Prospect, "and found fulfillment in this ministry which she embraced wholeheartedly as a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis."
A little over a year ago, St. Anne students and staff gave Busch a warm retirement send-off. After a yearlong celebration of her 10th anniversary as their principal, they assembled on the last day of school to bid her farewell.
The all-school assembly featured each class reciting a prayer as well as a video of Busch that students had produced, featuring what they would miss most about her.
Her 10 years in Barrington culminated 50 years in education, 49 of which were spent in the Archdiocese of Chicago and 25 as a school principal. Previously, Busch was principal at St. Mary School in Buffalo Grove and at St. Norbert in Northbrook.
"She was an icon," said Judy Pappas, principal of St. James School in Arlington Heights.
At St. Anne, parish officials credited Busch with leading the drive to become a National Blue Ribbon School, which the U.S. Department of Education bestowed in 2006. She also ramped up technology, establishing 200 computers throughout the building, as well as interactive SMART Boards and laptops for every teacher.
Under Busch's leadership, school officials introduced Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language option, along with Spanish. One of Busch's most recent projects was to include a preschool curriculum for "early 3-year olds," which opened two years ago.
Mostly, school officials said, students miss her presence and her warm greeting every morning when she would welcome them. In fact, students cherished her "good morning" so much, they designed a plaque around it and placed it at the front door, where they could see it after she retired.
St. Anne School officials emailed parents on Sunday about Busch's passing and asked them to be sensitive in telling their children.
"We have no doubt, that Sister Ann would like to be remembered by you and your children, as a woman religious who deeply loved all of you," wrote the Rev. Bernie Bietrzak, pastor, "and always worked for the greater welfare, success and spiritual growth of the children and families she served."
Visitation will be held 9:30-11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 at St. Joseph's Convent, 1501 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, Wis., with a wake service at 10 a.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m., with burial at 2 p.m. at Mount Olivet. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Dickeyville, Wis., at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23.