Faithful Gather at Cathedral as First Fridays with Bishop Gruss returns

First Fridays with Bishop Robert Gruss returned to the Cathedral Friday, January 7, after nearly a two-year break initiated by the Covid pandemic in the spring of 2020. When Bishop Gruss shared how wonderful it was to be gathered again, the more than 100 members of the faith community present responded with applause. 

“It’s good to get back,” Bishop Gruss agreed. “But, don’t let your guard down. Get vaccinated. I’ve been vaxxed and boosted and I encourage others to as well. I’m told that 80 percent of those in ICU and on ventilators in our hospitals are not vaccinated.  

“We all know people who have lost their lives to this terrible disease … I ask that we keep all of those who are in the hospital - with Covid or other illnesses –  in our prayers.” 

The faith gathering began with Mass in the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption and continued in the lower level of the Cathedral with a meatless lunch and informal presentation. 

Bishop Gruss asked those present, “Do you worry?” 

He then quickly offered his solution to worry: complete surrender to Jesus.  

“Every single day, I pray this prayer: ‘Lord Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything.’” 

He encouraged all those gathered to begin the habit of praying those same words daily, “Lord Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything.” He then moved to the topic of the day, the upcoming Synod on Synodality.  

“The Holy Father wants to hear from the people of God around the world,” Bishop Gruss said. “Synodality means ‘walking along together’. So, the Synod is a process by which the People of God walk along together.” 

Bishop Gruss went on to share that the purpose of the Synod is not to produce documents, but “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands.” (To learn more about this process happening locally, click here for information on the Diocese of Saginaw website). 

Synod 2023 “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” was convoked by Pope Francis on October 10, 2021, in Rome.   

Bishop Gruss ended the time together by asking for topics in which those gathered would like him to talk about in the future. Mark your calendars for the next First Friday gathering at the Cathedral on Friday, February 4.