Douglas Michael Busch
First priestly assignment: Our Lady of the Lake, Mandeville
Masses of Thanksgiving:
June 1 at 4 p.m. at St. Rita, New Orleans; June 2 at 8:30 a.m. at St. Pius X, New Orleans.
Chalices are gifts from his alma mater, Army compatriots
I actually have two chalices, and both are gifts. One came from my 1975 graduating class at Holy Cross. It actually had been gifted to Holy Cross by the Class of 2004 – before Katrina – and then it went through Katrina.
Danny Hrapmann, who was the quarterback on the football team that I played on, and others in the Class of 1975, approached Holy Cross and asked if they could put the chalice back into service. Right now there is no chapel at Holy Cross, so there was no way for the school to use it. They said, why don’t you take this chalice from the Class of 2004, because they would be most supportive of that.
We’ve got a really close class. It’s a wonderful gift because I am getting back involved with Holy Cross. I’ll be joining the board of directors, and I’m co-leading a retreat there in June, so that’s getting me back to my Holy Cross roots.
It also ties me in a substantial way to a younger class at Holy Cross.
It’s a very simple chalice. The cup is gold, and the stem and the base are silver. It has a raised cross on the base.
The other chalice is a pewter one from my compatriots in the Army. I was awarded the Order of St. George Medallion, which is given to armor and cavalry officers for exceptional military service and command. The medallion is on the base. I retired after 27 years in the Army. What it symbolizes to me is that I have left a secular army – the U.S. Army – and I’ve entered into the army of Christ, wearing the armor of God into spiritual battle.
The chalice makes everything so tangible. It is everything I’ve been called to do. I was called to the priesthood as a late vocation after driving a truck for more than a million miles.
God has a beautiful way of tying together all these gifts he’s given me.
When I go to Our Lady of the Lake, I will be the guy in the old Army slogan: “Be all you can be.” I’m in Christ’s army.
As a priest, I’m most looking forward to being made, by God’s grace and through Archbishop Aymond, capable to lift up the chalice of salvation in the daily Liturgy of the Mass and to call on the Lord’s name in the presence of all his people. To continue the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ in a real and substantial way in the world today is most humbling and life-giving.
– Peter Finney Jr.