When Bishop Robert D. Gruss read today’s Gospel reading, it confirmed to him that the Diocese of Saginaw is where the Holy Spirit wants him to be.
“We all know in the Lord’s mind there is no coincidence,” Bishop Gruss said. “So when I got up this morning and celebrated my daily Mass, the Gospel reading from St. John had a lot of meaning for me.”
The first few lines of today’s Gospel read: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.” (John 15:12-13)
“That last line, ‘No greater love,’ happens to be my Episcopal motto,” Bishop Gruss said. “I do find it interesting that I come here to the Diocese of Saginaw, for the very first time, for this announcement as your Bishop, on the day when the Gospel that is proclaimed happens to be my Episcopal motto. I think it’s the Lord’s confirmation of this new assignment.”
Pope Francis today announced that he selected Bishop Gruss as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw. Bishop Gruss was introduced by Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Apostolic Administrator, during a morning news conference.
“Over these past days and months, we have had some considerable challenges to face in the Diocese,” Bishop Hurley said. “I think we’ve faced them with faith, courage and straightforwardness. It’s a special joy to be with you today to introduce Bishop Gruss, who has an extensive background and service. I’m very confident he will serve so very well here.”
Members of the media asked Bishop Gruss questions on many topics, including clergy sex abuse.
“I believe in transparency and accountability,” Bishop Gruss said. “There’s no place in the church for sexual abuse of minors or anyone else. My desire is that the church becomes holy, in the way that Christ calls her to be, and those who abuse their power and authority will be held to accountability.”
Bishop Gruss, who was a corporate pilot before becoming a priest, also answered questions related to his hobbies and interests, admitting some may not be common for a bishop.
“I like to hunt and fish; I ride Harleys. I have a Harley, so I can’t wait to explore Michigan on my Harley. I love riding horses.”
Bishop Hurley will continue to serve as Apostolic Administrator until Bishop Gruss’ installation as Bishop of Saginaw on July 26. Bishop Gruss says he looks forward to getting to know the people of the diocese.