Louis E. Busemeyer
Fr. Louis E. Busemeyer, SJ
Lou spent most of his Jesuit life working in secondary education and touched the lives of countless students as a teacher, coach, and administrator.
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Louis E. Busemeyer

January 29, 2020 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Louis E. Busemeyer, SJ, who died on January 26, 2020, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 81 years old. May he rest in peace.

Lou was born on December 21, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He entered the former Chicago Province on September 1, 1959 at Milford Jesuit Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained at St. Joseph Church in Aurora, Illinois on June 11, 1970 and pronounced final vows at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago on April 22, 1978.

Before entering the Society, Lou graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. While in the Society, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy (1964) and a Master's of Divinity Degree (1972) from Loyola University Chicago. He also earned a Master's Degree in Education from Xavier University in Cincinnati (1970).

During regency, Lou taught English at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois (1964-1967). After ordination, he worked for a decade at Saint Ignatius College Prep (SICP) in Chicago. He taught math (1971-1981) and was athletic director (1972-1978). Lou then was director of the Voyageur Wilderness Programme in Ontario, Canada (1981-1983), a canoeing and camping program which offers cultural, educational and nature-based tourism from Voyageur Island which has undisturbed, pristine wilderness.

After a sabbatical, Lou returned to SICP for another decade. He was the service program director (1984-1988). He taught math, computers, and was director of the administrative computer services (1988-1995). He left SICP to teach computers at Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, Illinois (1995-1997). Lou then was an administrative assistant to the Corporate Internship Program at the newly founded Cristo Rey High School in Chicago (1997-2000).

Lou then went full-time into pastoral ministry. He was the associate pastor of St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Aurora, Illnois (2000-2013) and a retreat director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois (2013-2014). In 2014, Lou was missioned to St. Camillus Jesuit Community to care for his health.

Lou was a devoted man who loved Christ and the Eucharist. Lou spent most of his Jesuit life working in secondary education and touched the lives of countless students as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He loved nature and the outdoors—especially the Boundary Waters—and, whenever possible, would canoe, hike, camp, or just appreciate the outdoors. He loved athletic events and enjoyed watching (and attending) sporting events.

Lou was a wonderful community man and a real "go-to" guy. If you needed anything practical done, a project completed, something fixed or built, or even an errand run, he'd gladly do it. From teaching math with special care for the struggling students, to running an athletic department with very few resources, to beginning a community service program, to helping a new school begin well, Lou was your man. He was a good listener with practical wisdom that he shared easily, especially when (in the old days) he was smoking his pipe or a good cigar. He worked collaboratively with colleagues long before it was fashionable and was always forthright with his brethren in his house or apostolate. And when physical illness or cognitive diminishment entered his life, he handled it with consummate grace. He was, truly, available throughout his Jesuit life, from start to finish.


Monday, February 3, 2020
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Madonna della Strada Chapel
St. Camillus Jesuit Community
10201 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Wauwatosa, WI


Monday, February 3, 2020
7:30 p.m.
Madonna della Strada Chapel
St. Camillus Jesuit Community
10201 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Wauwatosa, WI

In Memoriam
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February 02, 20204:22 PM
Lou was a fellow Jesuit with me @ Jesuit School of Theology Chicago. In 1973 we were approached to play the role of Fr. Jacques Marquette, S.J., accompanying Louis Joliet in the re-enactment of the Pere Jacques Marquette-Louis Jolliet expedition of 1673 (an exploration of the Wisconsin, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers), on the journey of about 3,000 miles. To qualify, we had to be an ordained Jesuit priest and an expert canoeist. Both Lou and I were the only ones at JST that qualified. Because of a prior commitment for the summer, I deferred to Lou ... who made the journey. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and went on to lead other canoe adventures. He will be missed. – Patrick H. O'Leary

February 03, 20203:58 PM
On behalf of John Busemeyer's kids (Mary Lou, Judy, and Jack), I want to express our sorrow for his loss. We will keep him in our prayers. – Mary Lou (Busemeyer) Dome

April 11, 20203:53 PM
I only had a few interactions with Fr. Lou, but they were memorable ones. The longest was a retreat in Massachusetts shortly after he was ordained. He was a great story teller who used the cigar as part of the experience. Several of my Jesuit friends would add Fr. Lou stories if I said that I had met him. He was a 'big' presence. Sincerely, Mark M. Wilkins – Anonymous

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