The Rev. Richard J. GrossThe Rev. Richard J. Gross, 74, Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Fargo passed away Thursday, August 23, 2012 in Valley Eldercare Center in Grand Forks, ND.
The Rev. Richard J. Gross
The Rev. Richard J. Gross, 74, Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Fargo passed away Thursday, August 23, 2012 in Valley Eldercare Center in Grand Forks, ND.
Richard Gross was born June 17, 1938 the son of John M. and Magdalena (Vetter) Gross on the family farm in Logan County, ND. He attended Mannheim School No. 4, a one room rural school house, near the family farm and graduated from Strasburg High School. He graduated from St. Johns University, Collegeville, MN with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. He attended St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, MN and graduated in 1963. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest, along with his cousin, Fr. Valentine Gross and Fr. Thompson, for the Diocese of Fargo by The Most Rev. Leo Dworschak on June 8, 1963 at an outdoor Mass at St. Anthony's Catholic Church near Napoleon, ND. Fr. Gross celebrated his first Mass at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. He was assigned as an Associate Pastor at St. Alphonsus Parish and Chaplain to St. Mary's Hospital in Langdon, ND from July 1, 1963 to June 30, 1970; St. Boniface Parish, Walhalla, ND from July 1, 1970 to June 30, 1974. Fr. Gross was appointed Pastor of Assumption Parish, Pembina, ND from July 1, 1974 to June 23, 1976; Holy Family Parish, Grand Forks, ND from June 24, 1976 to January 31, 1979; St. Helena Parish, Ellendale, ND and St. Patrick Parish from February 1, 1979 to March 19, 1984. He was appointed Catholic Chaplain to Altru Health Systems from March 20, 1984 until his retirement on July 1, 2003.
Fr. Gross enjoyed gardening, woodworking and raising animals. He appreciated the outdoors and always maintained the spirit of a farmer. Fr. Gross was a very down to earth person and held in high regard by his colleagues, people of all faiths and the people he served as a priest. He always asked questions that made a person reflect and think more deeply about the purpose of life. For example, shortly before his death, he asked, "What is the meaning of wasting time?" Fr. Gross was a peoples' priest. He spoke in a manner that made people feel like they were sitting next to him and his sermons always included a story that brought the Gospels to everyday life. He will always be remembered for his flannel shirt, chewing toothpicks, his coffee cup in hand and his sense of humor that made everyone want to be his friend. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and was active in the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Habitat for Humanity.
He is survived by brothers, Mathias (Barbara) Gross, John (Margaret) Gross, Isadore Gross, all of Napoleon, ND, Deacon, Benedict (Christina) Gross, Peachtree City, GA, Valentine (Gean) Gross, Bismarck, ND, Bro. Placid, O.S.B., Assumption Abby, Richardton, ND. Pius (Madeline) Gross, Buckeye, AZ, Leo Gross, Aurora, CO; sisters, Elizabeth (Mrs. Anton) Schatz, Napoleon, ND, Clara (Mrs. Adam) Braun, Anna Marie (Mrs. Reuben) Dammel, both of Bismarck, ND; sister-in-law, Agnes Gross, Napoleon, ND; many nieces, nephews and caregiver, colleague and friend, Chaplain Toni Betting, Grand Forks, ND.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Andrew Gross; sister-in-law, Lorraine Gross; infant brothers, Joseph and Anthony and an infant sister, Cecelia.
In lieu of flowers, Fr. Gross requested that memorial be given to Wings of Mercy, P.O. Box 1921, Maple Grove, MN 55311 or St. Joseph's Social Care (Formerly St. Vincent DePaul Society), 620 8th Avenue South, Grand Forks, ND 58201
Mass of Christian Burial: 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 27, 2012 in Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND.
Visitation: 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday with a 5:30 p.m. rosary service and 6:00 p.m. vigil service in Holy Family Catholic Church. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Monday.
Memorial Mass: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 28, 2012 in St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, Napoleon, ND.
Visitation: One hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Tuesday.
Burial: St. Philip Neri Catholic Cemetery, Napoleon, ND.
The online memorial registry may be signed at www.normanfuneral.com
(Gregory J. Norman-Norman Funeral Home, So. Washington St.)