Funeral Mass Father Scott Bush

Priesthood was second, much richer, career for island-born vocation

By Patrick Downes
Hawaii Catholic Herald

Father Scott Bush, an Oahu-born, part-Hawaiian former moving company manager who left a business career to embrace God’s call to priesthood, serving more than 25 years in parishes on the Big Island and Oahu, died Jan. 2 at Island Hospice in Palolo. He was 70 years old.

According to Bishop Larry Silva, his death was due to complications from kidney failure and was not COVID-19-related.

The bishop last visited Father Bush at the hospice on Christmas day and gave him Viaticum (Holy Communion for the dying).

“Afterwards, although he was weak and could only speak softly, he gave his “Nunc Dimittis,” speaking of his readiness to die and meet the Lord. He gave thanks to God for the many blessings of his life, especially for the blessing of the priesthood,” the bishop said.

“He said he wanted nothing more than to serve the Lord and his people, and he was richly rewarded in doing so,” Bishop Silva said. “He said he wanted to continue that priestly service forever in heaven. It was beautiful and quite moving.”

The bishop offered a word “of thanks and of consolation” to the priest’s close friend, Allene Ishikawa, who helped care for Father Bush through times of ill health. She was present when he died.

Father Cosmenio “Sammy” Rosimo Jr., who worked with Father Bush at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Ewa Beach, sent condolences to the bishop in a Jan. 3 email from the Philippines, where he is a priest of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia.

“Father Scott was like a brother to me more than my pastor,” said Father Rosimo. “We were transparent to each other and bared our souls to one another.”

He said Father Bush had “a kind and generous heart always aflame with love for the poor and homeless.”

“He delegated a lot of things to me in the administration of the parish except for one thing, the social action ministry,” he said. “He wanted very much to lead in serving the poor and the least.”

“I remember how we cried together about the fate of one homeless family which he eventually adopted in his own townhouse,” Father Rosino said.

“I have lost a brother and a friend on earth,” he said, “but am sure I have gained an intercessor in heaven.”

“I am a second career vocation,” Father Bush told the Hawaii Catholic Herald in a 2018 interview. Of his earlier career managing a Hilo-based moving company, he said, “I was a person who could handle anything. And I was proud of that. I could take on anything; I could do it.”

“But then there also came a time when I couldn’t. And I went into a depression,” he said. “It was a blow to me. And in the depths of my depression, I found God. He lifted me up.”

“It profoundly changed my life. I decided to give my life over to the Lord. I asked the Lord if he was asking me to become a priest. He said, ‘I am not asking you, I am telling you.’ I said, ‘I am 36 years old. I lived a bad life.’”

Nevertheless, the diocese accepted him as a candidate for ordination.

Father Bush entered St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, in 1986, and was ordained a priest at age 42 on June 6, 1992.

Father Bush, who is of Hawaiian, English and Portuguese ethnicity, was born April 7, 1950, the son of George and Priscilla Bush. He has a brother, George, and a sister, Carol. Growing up on Oahu, he attended St. Anthony School in Kalihi and Maryknoll Grade School before enrolling at Saint Louis High School, graduating in 1968.

He went to Seattle University where he received his bachelor of arts degree. He then earned a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Hawaii.

After working about five years on the Big Island in the moving business, he returned to church and rekindled a childhood desire to become a priest.

Father Bush served as a parochial vicar or pastor at Sacred Hearts Parish in Naalehu, Big Island; Holy Rosary Parish in Pahala, Big Island; St. Joseph Parish, Hilo; Malia Puka O Kalani, Keaukaha, Big Island; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ewa Beach, St. George Church, Waimanalo, and at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Honolulu.

He retired for health reasons on Jan. 1, 2018, and lived at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace rectory, assisting with sacramental duties when he could.

Father Scott said that in recent years, when faced with failing health, he would pray Jesus’ prayer — “Father, I place my life in your hands.”

For the former high-achiever, that surrender “became a source of serenity and peace.”

“All is good, because God is here,” he said. “And I am in God and God is with me. And I am at peace. I live life day-to-day as a precious gift, and I thank God for everything I have.”

Father Ryan’s funeral

Bishop Larry Silva will celebrate a Funeral Mass for Father Jack Ryan, who died Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace. It would have been his 71st birthday. Father Alapaki Kim will preach. The Mass will be livestreamed on the Cathedral’s Facebook page, since his two sisters, who live in Pennsylvania, will not be able to attend in person.

Funeral Mass Father Jack Ryan

Father Jack Ryan

Former Paulist, Hispanic minister, radio host joined diocese in 1991

By Patrick Downes
Hawaii Catholic Herald

Father Jack Ryan, a former Paulist priest engaged in communications and Hispanic ministry who joined the Diocese on Honolulu in 1991, died Dec. 7 at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu where he once served as a chaplain. He was 70 years old and ordained for 44 years.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Father Ryan spent his priesthood exploring the link between faith and culture. Besides serving as pastor in several Hawaii parishes, he was involved in ecumenical affairs, campus ministry, Hispanic ministry, Catholic radio and TV and other pursuits.

A priest with an impish sense of humor, one could always count on him for a fresh joke or a wry observation about current events.

In a 2007 interview in the Hawaii Catholic Herald, he said his favorite childhood memory was “Christmas with my family.”

“We have a close family and had wonderful times together,” he said. “My grandmother had an old Irish tradition of taking a candle down to the church to get blessed. Then she would take it and go to every room in the house.”

Vicar general Msgr. Gary Secor said Father Ryan blessed the diocese with his many talents and interests.

“He did a lot of things in his priesthood. He had many talents and sensitivities that were certainly beneficial to our diocese,” he said.

“The time he spent with us was very appreciated,” he said.

On a personal note, Msgr. Secor said his family will be forever grateful for the concern and comfort Father Ryan provided as a chaplain at Straub Medical Center when the monsignor’s father Donald Secor suffered a heart attack a couple of decades ago.

Father Ryan was born on Jan. 15, 1950, in Philadelphia. He grew up there and in California with two sisters.

He received a political science degree from George Washington University before entering the seminary. He was ordained a Paulist priest on June 15, 1976.

Father Ryan served in hospital ministry in Toronto and in inner-city Memphis before earning his master’s in Latin American studies from Georgetown University. He spoke Spanish fluently, living in Ecuador and Nicaragua while studying for his degree.

He worked with Hispanic communities in Toronto, Memphis and Washington, D.C. For five years he was the director of Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

As an undergraduate, Father Ryan studied communications and as a seminarian worked extensively in radio and television. While in the seminary, he spent a year as a disc jockey for KNOM, a radio station owned and operated by the Bishop of Fairbanks, Alaska, that provides religious and educational programs, as well as music, to a widely dispersed population.

Father Ryan also developed a nationally syndicated program in Spanish called “Cinco Minutos,” produced by Paulist communications.

As a priest, he continued his communications work with a weekly program on CFRB in Canada called “Between Ourselves” that used an interview format to discuss social and religious issues. In San Francisco, he produced a weekly radio program in Spanish which included a weekly homily and interviews with people of interest to the local church. Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco was a frequent guest.

He also worked on the movie “Romero,” about the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, translating the archbishop’s diary for the production.

One of his more challenging media tasks was providing television translation and commentary for Pope John Paul II on the Spanish language stations in northern California during the pope’s visit there in 1987.

Coming to Hawaii in the late 1980s, his first ministry in the Honolulu diocese was as a Catholic chaplain at Queen’s and Straub medical centers. He was incardinated into the diocese on July 9, 1991. He served as pastor of St. Benedict Church, Honaunau; St. Michael Church, Kailua-Kona; St. John the Baptist Church, Kalihi; and Holy Spirit Parish-Newman Center, Manoa.

From 1990 to 1992, he co-produced and cohosted with Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Kathleen Marie Shields the weekly hour-long live Catholic radio program “Nana I Ka Pono.” The program ran for 112 shows and hosted 162 guests.

Father Ryan also served as the diocesan ecumenical and interfaith officer and on the Diocesan Review Board, the committee that addresses allegations of sexual abuse.

He retired on Jan. 1, 2019.

Sacrament of Reconciliation Every Saturday. Sign up for an appointment.

Fr. Anthony and Fr. Pascual of the Cathedral Basilica of our Lady of Peace will be providing the Sacrament of Reconciliation by appointment only. Confessions will be utilizing a drive-thru method at the Cathedral Academy School located at 1728 Nuuanu Ave. Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. Appointments are available for Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. If this arrangement works well, we will be extending this opportunity to include every Wednesday moving forward.

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