God, eternal shepherd, you tend your Church in many ways and rule us with love. You have chosen your servant, Robert, to be a shepherd of your flock in the Diocese of Saginaw. Give him a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he build your Church as a sign of salvation for the world. Amen.
SAGINAW — Pope Francis announced that he has selected Bishop Robert D. Gruss as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw.
Bishop Gruss, 63, has served as Bishop of Rapid City (South Dakota) since 2011. His installation in Saginaw is scheduled for July 26.
Bishop Robert Gruss was born June 25, 1955, in Texarkana, Arkansas. He attended Madison Area Technical College, in Madison, Wisconsin, and Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was a corporate pilot and flight instructor from 1980-1989 before entering seminary. He pursued seminary studies at St. Ambrose University, in Davenport 1989-1990; at North American College, Rome, 1990-1994; and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum, in Rome. He additionally earned a Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Theology at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1994. In 1999, he completed studies at the Institute of Priestly Formation (IPF) with an emphasis on Spiritual Direction training.
Bishop Gruss was ordained to the priesthood on July 2, 1994 by Bishop William E. Franklin, seventh Bishop of Davenport. In 2007, Pope Benedict named him a Chaplain of his Holiness, giving him the title of monsignor. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Bishop of Rapid City in 2011 and consecrated as a bishop on July 28, 2011.
Bishop Gruss’ previous assignments have included chancellor and diocesan vocations director for the Diocese of Davenport, as well as pastor at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He also served as vice-rector at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
Bishop Gruss also serves in the following capacities: St. Ambrose University Corporate Board, Member; Catholic Radio Association Episcopal Board, Member; Pope Leo XIII Institute, Episcopal Moderator; Institute for Priestly Formation Bishops Advisory Council, Member; National Assn. of Catholic Chaplains, Reg. VIII Episcopal Rep.; Pontifical North American College Episcopal Board of Governors.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw was established by Pope Pius XI on Feb. 26, 1938. Today, it includes 6,955 square miles across Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Sanilac, Saginaw and Tuscola counties. In 1938, The Most Rev. William Murphy, the first Bishop of Saginaw, dedicated the entire diocese under the patroness of Mary of the Assumption.