Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:56
Sister was former president of St. Mary of the Plains College and former editor of the Advance
Sister Cecilia Bush, former president of St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, and former editor of the Catholic Advance, died Sunday, July 15. She would have been 100 years old on Sept. 30.
A rosary for Sr. Cecilia will be prayed at 7 p.m. this evening at All Saints Church, 3205 Grand St., in Wichita. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at All Saints.
Christopher M. Riggs, the current editor of the Advance remembers Sister Cecilia as an amazing person.
“There wasn’t one area of her life in which she didn’t excel,” Riggs said. “Sister Cecilia is a model for all of us who wish to use our God-given talents to serve God.”
She was typical of many Sisters of St. Joseph in her love, kindness, and humility, he added.
“I hope any young woman considering her vocation as a nun would ponder Sister Cecilia’s life and how well she was able to serve the church and God,” Riggs said.
Mary Winifred Bush, the sixth child of Mary Martha (Brown) and Donald J. Bush, was born on Sept. 30, 1912, on a farm near Bertrand, Mo.
The family moved to Kansas City where she was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Thomas School. After three years at Bishop Ward High School she entered the Congregation of St. Joseph on March 19, 1929, where she received the religious name Sr. Mary Cecilia.
Earned a Ph.D.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Marymount College in Salina, a master’s from Creighton, a doctorate from Fordham and did post-doctorate studies at the University of London.
An educator and administrator all her professional life, Sr. Cecilia taught in Catholic elementary and secondary schools in Kingman, Wichita, Danville, Parsons, and Dodge City.
Following her doctoral studies she became academic dean at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City and was president of the college from 1960 to 1971. During her tenure as president, she was instrumental in obtaining accreditation for the college from the Kansas State Department, the North Central Association, and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
From 1972 to 1975, she worked in public relations and planning at Coordinated Services for the CSJ hospitals, and then took on responsibility as director of planning for the congregation and four of its hospitals. In 1984 until 1988 she was editor of The Catholic Advance.
Upon retirement in 1988 she continued being active as a writer, serving as mentor for seminarians, and playing the organ for services at Mt. St. Mary Convent.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of St. Joseph Dear Neighbor Ministries, Inc., 3700 E. Lincoln, Wichita, KS 67218.