Brendan P. Busse, S.J., 39, was born and raised in southern California. His parents (Barbara and Jay) are recently retired after a long career as professors of Communication Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Barbara Busse also serves on the board of Dolores Mission School. Brendan has four siblings – two older brothers (Ben and Justin) and two younger sisters (Sara and Laura).
He graduated from Damien High School in La Verne and went on to study English Literature at LMU. An active volunteer during college he regularly visited Central Juvenile Hall (where he first met the Jesuits), tutored at the SAGE after-school center in Watts, and worked with De Colores, a monthly service program in Tijuana, Mexico, all of which were defining experiences that would ultimately shape his vocation.
Immediately after his graduation in 1999, Brendan began a master’s degree in theological studies at LMU and taught religion at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey, California. In 2002, he became a Jesuit Volunteer in Central America where he worked as the assistant to the Local Manager for Catholic Schools and was responsible for the religious education program in 29 village schools in the Maya Mountains of southern Belize.
He returned to LMU in 2004 to finish his master’s thesis and served as LMU’s director of community service and social justice ministries until 2008, when he answered the call to become a Jesuit. As a novice, he worked for five months at Sacred Heart Nativity School in San Jose, California, as an assistant teacher and was next missioned to Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in social philosophy and (finally!) completed his master’s degree in theology from LMU. He was missioned next to Seattle University’s Matteo Ricci College, where he taught courses on Ignatian spirituality, theology, and social analysis.
Highlights of his formation include work with the Ignatian Spirituality Project in Chicago (Ignatian retreats for homeless men and women in addiction recovery), travel to MAGIS and World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a summer living and working in an orphanage in the far northeast region of India, and writing regularly for both America magazine and TheJesuitPost.org.
Brendan has spent the last three years studying Ignatian spirituality in Madrid and working (aka struggling!) to improve his Spanish. He was ordained a deacon in Madrid on March 4, 2017 and will be ordained a priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Hollywood on Saturday, June 10 at 10 am. After ordination, he will serve on the pastoral team at Dolores Mission Parish in Boyle Heights.
“I am very excited to join the community at Dolores Mission,” said Brendan. “Every Jesuit I know who has spent any time at Dolores Mission says the same thing: ‘It’s the best place to learn the most important things about what it means to be good Jesuit and to be a good priest.’ I hope to help however I can in the hard work this parish does to improve the life of the local community and I look forward to celebrating and sharing in the good life (and food and fun!) I know is already present on the plaza! I look forward to meeting everyone very soon. Please pray for me in the meantime!”