Thursday, May 26, 2011

Angelicum Alumnus to become bishop in South Dakota


Monsignor Robert D. Gruss, pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, will become the bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City in South Dakota.

Pope Benedict XVI has named Gruss, 55, pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Diocese of Davenport, to the position, according to a news release issued today by the Diocese of Davenport.
Bishop-designate Gruss will become the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City, which serves more than 30,000 Catholics and 82 congregations throughout western South Dakota. Thirteen percent of the total population is Catholic. Twenty-seven percent of the Catholics are Native American, and 10 percent are Hispanic.

“It is with deep humility and gratitude that I have accepted the Holy Father’s appointment as the next bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City,” Gruss said in the news release. “While it all seems a bit overwhelming at the moment, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve God, the Church and the people of this diocese.”
Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport said, “As a bishop when I install a new pastor for a parish, one of the final things I say to him is ‘My brother, be a loving father, a gentle shepherd and a wise teacher.’ I pray that Bishop-designate Gruss will be that for the people of the Diocese of Rapid City….a loving father, a gently shepherd and a wise teacher. I join my prayers to the people of the Diocese of Davenport and the people of the Diocese of Rapid City for God’s blessings upon him as he begins this new ministry.”

Gruss was born on June 25, 1955, in Texarkana, Ark. He holds an associate degree in civil engineering from Madison Area Technical College, Madison, Wis., a bachelor’s in theology from St. Ambrose University, a bachelor of sacred theology from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy, and a master’s in spiritual theology from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy.
Before entering the seminary, he earned his commercial pilot’s license (instrument rating and multi-engine rating) from the Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, Okla. He worked for various companies as a charter pilot, flight instructor and corporate pilot.

Gruss was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Davenport in 1994 following his seminary formation at the Pontifical North American College, Vatican City. He also completed spiritual direction training from the Institute for Priestly Formation.

After ordination to the priesthood, he was named parochial vicar of St. Paul the Apostle Church, Diocese of Davenport.

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