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“You have no idea of the joy in my heart”

December 2011 | by Jane Kettering


In July, Monsignor Robert Gruss '90 was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D. Having entered the priesthood in his late 30s, the 55-year-old Gruss asked, "Who could have written this script except the Lord?"

Although small in membership, Gruss' new diocese encompasses 43,000 square miles consisting mostly of small town parishes and rural areas, with some larger parishes in Rapid City. An outdoorsman and former commercial pilot, Gruss expressed his appreciation for the natural beauty of the region.

Honoring his new diocese's significant Native American population, Gruss used a Lakota star quilt, given to him by the Red Cloud Indian School, to prostrate himself before his fellow bishops as they conducted the ancient rite of investiture.

St. Ambrose's seventh graduate to be named a bishop, Gruss was ordained and presented to the Diocese of Rapid City during a two and one-half hour ceremony.

"You have no idea of the joy in my heart right now," said Gruss, during the ceremony. "I am thrilled to be your bishop."

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