Father James C. Rush, 73, of West Hartford, retired co-pastor of St. Gabriel Church in Windsor, passed away peacefully on Nov. 19, 2016, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford.
Born on Nov. 27, 1942, he was a son of the late William P. Rush, a former West Hartford police chief, and Gladys C. (Watson) Rush.
He leaves a brother, Superior Court Judge William B. Rush of Fairfield; four nieces; and several grandnephews and grandnieces.
Father Rush graduated from St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hartford and St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. He also studied at St. Bernard’s Seminary and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, both in Rochester, N.Y.; the North American College and the Gregorian University, both in Rome. He also spent two summer semesters at the Alliance Française in Paris.
He was ordained a deacon at St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome and served at St. Aloysius Parish of the Archdiocese of Westminster in London. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Hartford at St. Peter Basilica in Rome on Dec. 20, 1968, by the Most Rev.Francis Reh, rector of the North American College.
As a student-priest, he worked for Vatican Radio, was a campus minister at Loyola University in Rome and volunteered at an orphanage in Nettuno. After returning to the United States, Father Rush served at St. Louis Parish in West Haven, St. Augustine Parish in Hartford and St. Gabriel Parish in Windsor.
Father Rush completed his clinical pastoral education (CPE) at Hartford Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mass., and was a board-certified chaplain at Manchester Memorial Hospital for 11 years while in residence at St. Christopher Parish in East Hartford. He also was a police chaplain, priest-director of St. Louis School in West Haven, a Hartford Deanery CYO director and instructor in the archdiocesan marriage tribunal. He was the director of religious education at St. Augustine Parish, a religion teacher at the former South Catholic High School and St. Mary School in Newington, a chaplain for the St. Justin Fife and Drum Corps, a member of the Child Advocacy Team in Manchester, a Knights of Columbus chaplain, a counselor and sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous, a member of Priests for Life, and a supporter of Birthright and the archdioceses’s Office of Radio and Television.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair presided at a Mass of Christian burial on Nov. 26 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford. Burial followed at Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield. Contributions may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle School, 25 Dover Road, West Hartford, CT 06119 or to another charity.