Pope Names Bishop for Rapid City, South Dakota; Auxiliary Bishop for Milwaukee

May 26, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Msgr. Robert D. Gruss, 55, rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa, as bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, and Father Donald J. Hying, 47, rector of St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee, as an auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee.

The appointments were publicized in Washington, May 26, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

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 commercial pilot before entering the seminary.

Bishop-elect Gruss 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, also known as The Angelicum, in Rome.

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Davenport in 1994. Pope Benedict named him a monsignor in 2007.

After ordination, Bishop-elect Gruss’s assignments included parochial vicar, St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Davenport, 1994-1997; parochial vicar, St. Anthony Parish, Knoxville, Iowa; Sacred Heart Parish, Melcher, Iowa and St. Mary Parish, Pella, Iowa, 1997-1998; pastor, St. Mary Parish, Pella, 1999-2004; diocesan vocations director, 2004-2007; diocesan chancellor, 2005-2007; vice-rector, North American College, Rome, 2007-2010; and pastor, Sacred Heart Cathedral, 2010.

Bishop-elect Gruss succeeds Bishop Blase Cupich, who was named bishop of Spokane, Washington, in June, 2010 and installed in the Spokane Diocese in September.

The Diocese of Rapid City is comprised of 43,000 square miles and includes 227,211 people, of whom 25,229, or 11 percent, are Catholic.

Donald J. Hying, 47, was born August 18, 1963, and ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1989.

He holds bachelor of arts degrees in history, philosophy and theology from Marquette University, a master of divinity degree from St. Francis de Sales Seminary, and is currently completing his thesis fora doctor of ministry degreefrom St. Mary of the Lake Seminary,Mundelein, Illinois.

Assignments after ordination include associate pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1989-1994; team member, La Sagrada Familia Parroquia, Dominican Republic, 1994-1997; temporary administrator, St. Peter Parish, East Troy, Wisconsin, 1998; associate pastor, St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee, 1998-1999; pastor, Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Milwaukee, 1999-2005; dean of formation, St. Francis de Sales seminary, Milwaukee, 2005-2007; temporary administrator, St. Augustine Parish, Milwaukee, 2006; Rector, St. Francis de Sales Seminary, 2007-present.

Bishop-elect Hying is fluent in Spanish. From 2004 to the present, he has been a monthly contributor to “Scripture Reflections,” a column in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald diocesan newspaper, and since 2009, he has been host of “New Heart, New Spirit,” a program on Relevant Radio focusing on the seminary.

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