The Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss is the seventh Bishop of Saginaw. His Eucharistic Liturgy of Installation was celebrated July 26, at Holy Spirit Church in Thomas Township. More than 1,000 members of the faith community were there to witness as he was installed by the Most Rev. Christophe Pierre, the pope’s representative to the United States, and the Most Rev. Allen Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit.
In his first homily message as bishop of Saginaw, Bishop Gruss shared, “My heart is seeing this time, this moment in the history of this diocese … as what I hope is a new advent for all of us.”
“What is advent?” he asked. “It’s a time of hopeful expectation. I truly believe this is what the Lord wants for all of us. He wants us to live in this springtime of hopeful expectation.”
Speaking about the lives of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose memorial was celebrated on this day, Bishop Gruss explained that we, too, need to be rooted in faith, hope and trust … or risk not seeing the springtime in front of us.
"I know the Church today faces many challenges,” Bishop Gruss said. “This diocese faces many challenges. I don’t know what they all are yet.
“We also know of the sex abuse scandal that has effected every single diocese in the United States and many other countries around the world. It has pierced the heart of the Church. This diocese has also had to face this hard reality.
“We face many other challenges as well, but that’s okay. Friends, these challenges, from my point of view, they do not define us.”
Gesturing toward the large crucifix over the altar, Bishop Gruss said, “He defines us. All challenges, all concerns, all problems, all disappointment, all disunity, all fears, through the lens of faith, hope and love - these all lead to one place … to one person ... and that’s Jesus.
“He is the answer to all of life’s problems. We only need to listen to him, we only need to renew our relationship with him every single day … Whenever we take a step toward Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there waiting for us with open arms.”
While admitting he has not been in the diocese long enough - only a few days - to have a "vision," Bishop Gruss said, “Any vision is to help create an environment whereby it becomes natural for all of us, each in our way, to 'share the love of Jesus Christ.'"
This Sunday, July 28, Bishop Gruss will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt Ave., in Saginaw at 10 a.m. It is the eighth anniversary of his episcopal ordination. All are welcome!
Watch the Homily Message below.