Father Leopold Bushart, S.J. (1838-1909)

At the time of his death, the Louisville Catholic Record  described Father Leopold Bushart as “surely one of the great men of the Catholic Church in America.” He was successively President of five different colleges: St. Xavier, Cincinnati; St. Louis University; St. Stanislaus Seminary, Florissant, Missouri; St. Mary’s College, Kansas; and Marquette University, Milwaukee. Born in Flanders on June 27th, 1838, he was named Leopold Buysschaert. (In 1870 he changed the name to Bushart.) Despite health issues, he was accepted into the Jesuits as a star candidate. “Who coughs long, lives long,” he used to say. After serving as Rector at St. Stanislaus, he was named Provincial of the Missouri Province, overseeing all Jesuit activity in the Midwest. It was said of him that he “was never elated by success nor moved by failure. Successes and failures were just the same: God’s will. He never worried.” Nothing phased him; he once told a Jesuit who wrote a popular book: “You have achieved a name—which is nothing; you have made some money for the Province—which is something; you have furthered God’s honor and glory—which is everything.” He died of cancer on August 26th, 1909, while serving as Procurator of the Missouri Province. 

“FATHER LEOPOLD BUSHART (BUYSSCHAERT),” The Woodstock Letters, Vol. XXXIX (1910), 230-235.

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