August 11, 2015
Amarillo—Two priests in the Diocese of Amarillo have received additional assignments, according to Bishop Patrick J. Zurek.
Father Robert A. Busch, Ph.D, is the new Pastor at St. Ann’s Church, Canyon. Father Richard Zanetti, JCL, has been named Judicial Vicar.
The appointments take effect on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Father Busch, 53, was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 9, 1993 at St. Laurence Cathedral (now St. Laurence Church), Amarillo, by then-Bishop Leroy T. Matthiesen. He previously served as priest-in-residence at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Amarillo, from July 1994 to Feb. 1999; parochial administrator of St. Mary’s Church, Umbarger, from Feb. 1999 to June 2001; and, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Dalhart and St. Mary’s Church, Texline from Aug. 2002 to Jan. 2006. He also has had parish assignments in the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, Baltimore and Oklahoma City.
Father Busch has spent most of his 22 years of priestly ministry in higher education. He served for seven years as director of the Catholic Student Center at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, where he taught undergraduate courses in religion and philosophy. His most recent stint in higher education was at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of theology and philosophy. He also has taught at Iona College and Fordham University in New York, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.
Father Busch holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degree in speech communication from West Texas A&M University. He also earned a Master of Theological Studies degree from Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in systematic theology from Fordham University. He will remain in his current posts as Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo and Head of School at Holy Cross Catholic Academy, Amarillo, posts he had held since July 22, 2010.
“Obviously it will be a challenge to have what could be three full-time jobs, but I will be working with the administrative team at Holy Cross to ensure that nothing there will suffer because of my new assignment,” he said. “I will still be overseeing the academic, financial and spiritual health of Holy Cross to make sure that it stays on the right track and that things are moving in the right direction, but some of the day-to-day work that I have been doing there will be delegated to others.”
Father Busch is also looking forward to his first assignment as a pastor in nine years—and in some ways, it feels like going home.
“St. Ann’s is the first Catholic Church I attended in the Texas Panhandle,” he said. “When I arrived here a freshman at West Texas State (now West Texas A&M University) in the fall of 1980, I did not have a car, so I had to either ride my bicycle or walk to St. Ann’s, because the current Catholic Student Center had not yet been built, and they did not have Sunday Masses at the house that served as a gathering place for the Newman Club.
“I remember the first weekend I was at WT, actually walking to St. Ann’s from the campus. I went to the Saturday evening Mass at 5:00 and the celebrant was Father Jack Gist. I still remember the homily that he gave that weekend. St. Ann’s was where my connection to this diocese began, I’m really excited on a personal level to have the opportunity to serve as pastor of this great parish.”
A native of Fairfield, Calif., Father Zanetti, 47, was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela, on July 5, 2003. He served in parishes in the Diocese of Ciudad Guayana and was also director of seminarians from 2007 to 2008.
Father Zanetti is a graduate of Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio and in 2012, received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has been parochial administrator at St. John the Evangelist Church, Borger and St. Ann’s Church, Stinnett, since Sept. 1, 2012.
“The role of the Judicial Vicar, is to serve as the Judge and Supervisor of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal, or Court of Law, in the name of the diocesan bishop,” said Father Zanetti. “The Judicial Vicar is assisted by other judges, assessors, auditors, advocates and notaries in processing the annulment cases and judicial services of that tribunal as a ministry of the Church’s effort to offer healing and hope for victims of broken marriages.
“He is also a member of the Presbyteral Council to assist the bishop and coordinates all aspects of application and practice of Canon Law throughout the diocese.”