1924 – 2001 (January 1)
Jan Henricus Busch was born on August 26, 1924 of Arnold J. Busch and E. A. Masion in Dordrecht, The Netherlands. He attended St. Antonius School in Dordrecht, and then the Gymnasium Augustinianum from 1936 to 1942. He entered the novitiate of the Dutch Province on September 9, 1942, professed simple vows on September 10, 1943, and made solemn profession on September 12, 1946. From 1942 to 1949, he did his theological studies in his home province, and was ordained to the priesthood on March 12, 1949, at Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
After ordination Father Busch studied chemistry at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, from 1949 to 1952, in preparation for teaching at a secondary school which the Dutch Augustinians were to found in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry from Villanova in 1952 and, in 1954, an M.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He then taught for one year at Prendergast High School, Drexel Hill, Pa., and then for four years at the Colegio San Agustin in Boliva. In 1958, he was assigned to the Universidad Catolica de Santo Tomas de Villanueva, Havana, Cuba. Following the Castro revolution, and the closing of the university in 1961, Father Jan left Cuba and continued his teaching career at Saint Augustine High School in San Diego, California. A year later he was appointed as one of the first faculty members of Biscayne College in Miami, Florida.
In 1972, he was transferred to Villanova University, where, after three years, he obtained a doctorate in chemistry. In that latter year, Father Busch joined the chemistry department at Villanova, and was known as a gifted professor and dedicated researcher. His college teaching career included chemistry, general physics, math, French and German. For many years, on weekends, he assisted at the parish of Saint Eleanor in Collegeville, Pa. Though Father Jan remained always a member of the Province of Holland, he spent most of his religious priesthood ministering with the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova.
He died on January 1, 2001 at the health care unit of Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova. Father Willem Saelman, O.S.A., representing the provincial of Holland, presided at the Mass of the Resurrection. Interment followed at the Augustinian plot in Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.