SAGINAW — In the lower level of the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, people lined walls and filled tables, and children made a picnic on the floor while eating a meatless lunch and getting to know their new Bishop a little better. In the first of what will be a monthly gathering for “first Fridays,” Bishop Robert Gruss shared a bit about himself and his family after celebrating Mass for more than 350 people in the upper level of the Cathedral.
“We have to get out of the shallow water … a place of comfort and security,” Bishop Gruss said during his homily (view below). “Our faith in Jesus makes unconditional demands on us throughout our lives.”
Speaking informally downstairs, Bishop Gruss shared some of the demands placed upon his own life while trying to do God’s will. He talked about leaving the parish setting which he loved to work in diocesan administration, being called upon to serve as vice-rector at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and eventually being named a Bishop.
“Every place you go where the Lord takes you is filled with graces beyond your wildest imagination,” Bishop Gruss said. “But, in order to receive those graces, we have to surrender our hearts to what He’s asking. We can’t hold back.”
Acknowledging the temptation to seek our own will, rather than God’s, Bishop Gruss encouraged those gathered to ask the question daily: “Lord, what do you want me to do for you today?” He even suggested, “Put that on your mirror.”
Bishop Gruss shared a bit about his personal history as well, which included moving around the country many times as a child. He has four siblings including an identical twin brother. He lost his mother to cancer when he was only 25 years old, and his father died while Bishop Gruss was in seminary.
The conversation with Bishop Gruss will continue in October, the only month over the next nine months when the gathering will take place on the second Friday of the month. All are invited to Mass at 11 a.m. on October 11 at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, followed by a meatless lunch for $7 and an informal presentation by Bishop Gruss.