My name is Deacon Greg Sass. I was ordain Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Rapid City by Bishop Robert Gruss on Friday, February 1, 2013. See the assignments page for my current duties.
My journey to the Deaconate is summarized in my first post titled Welcome. But as I mention in that article, my journey really involves my whole life.
I grew up in a large, Catholic, farm family in northeastern South Dakota where one of my brothers is the third generation farmer on that land. My Great Grandfather was involved with building the original Catholic Church and my Dad helped build the new church when the original one became too small. My Dad was one of the first Eucharistic Ministers in that parish after Vatican II. My Mom was a long time Youth Formation teacher, besides being a Mom to twelve kids, homemaker, nurse farm wife and painter.
In middle school, I looked at the Priesthood, but after some discernment, I knew that was not what God wanted for me. I went to college, married my wife Nancy shortly after graduating. We have two children, Cathy and Matt. While they were growing up, Nancy and I helped with various Faith Formation programs. I became a member of the Knights of Columbus, like my Dad. At one point Fr. (now Msgr.) Edward Burian asked be become a Lector which I did. We eventually moved to western South Dakota.
While we were planning our move, my Mom became ill, and shortly after moving she passed away. That experience of Mom’s illness and being with her when she passed away, was a conversion experience for me. I became more involved with our new Parish, Nancy and I again helping to teach Faith Formation, I became the “computer support guy” for the parish – eventually taking on the webmaster duties also. I became a Eucharistic Minister and was involved with more and more Parish committees and groups.
I eventually joined the Lay Ministry program, followed by the Deaconate program. I help start a Returning Catholics Ministry, helped with the fundraising for Terra Sancta, all while still being active in the Parish, working full time and raising a family. To many, this sounds like a lot, and it was. My family has been on this journey with me, and often helped me to focus on the entire journey. It is with their help, and the help of many, many others, that has lead me to a life closer to God, than I ever imagined.