Ziggy Gross

Ziggy GrossParish: Good Shepherd Parish, Chilton

Birth Date: January 18

Seminary: Mundelein Seminary

Seminary Address:
1000 E. Maple Avenue
Mundelein IL 60060-1967

Theology I


Patron: St. Claude de la Colombiere


What do you want on your pizza?

Pepperoni is all I need. A side of ranch for dipping and a Coke are always nice too.

Tell us about a great experience that you had during the summer of 2017.

This summer I experienced the most intense Eucharistic procession in Oconto (Stiles WI). Daylight was fading when the procession began. The candles, the incense, the monstrance, and the adorers—everything was set. We began processing to a cemetery down a country road. Halfway there storm clouds rolled in and lightning began flashing across the sky. We calmly kept walking down the road singing hymns. Once at the cemetery with the monstrance elevated before a life-size crucifix we prayed while the wind and rain began picking up. We remained in prayer for a moment and processed back to the chapel. Prayerful and awe-filed.

How would you describe the priesthood to a non-believer?

A call. The priesthood is a call from God. And God only calls people because He wants to commune with them, to know them. In fact deep down every person wants to experience communion with God, everyone wants to be known by God (and others). Specifically, the priesthood is a call for men to live like Jesus Christ. No man should enter the priesthood who does not desire one thing: to be like Jesus. Love like Jesus. No wife would want a husband who did not give himself 100 percent to loving her through his sacrifice for her in his words and actions. So too, the priest is a man in love with God and His Church. A man following Jesus who wants to sacrifice his life for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Priesthood allows one to live for the sake of helping others enter into this communion with God both now on earth and continued eternally in heaven. Simply put: the priesthood is sacrifice, and sacrifice is hard but fulfilling.

Divine Providence is God's active protection and guidance in our lives. How have you seen Providence in your life?

God has always followed me even when I did not want Him to. In high school, I was nervous about living my faith but then I would sense God was with me and nudging me to witness in some way such as speaking out about prolife issues in class when a heated discussion arose. Later in college I focused more on building my social status rather than focusing on growing in virtue. I always sensed that God was trying to speak to me, usually through other people calling me to engage life more fully, more faithfully. Yet I did not want to give God my full yes to His plan for me. Following college I found myself in the lowest part of my life, making poor decisions that negatively affected both me and those around me. When I was twenty-three, at one point I recall hearing God, interiorly, not audibly, asking me when I would simply give my life in all its details over to Him. I remember it so well because I recall sensing God was with me both at that very moment but also during all those moments from high school to college, especially when turning from Him in sin. Wrapped up in that moment were all those prior moments of denying God's call to love while He simply waited with me and for me to turn to Him and ask for His mercy, His love.

Share an interesting fact about your middle school years.

In middle school I took a summer rock climbing course in Wisconsin Dells. I remember loving it. One night while camping out, rain began pouring into my tent. For some reason I remember having a blast getting soaked that night.

What parish and diocesan movements have inspired you as a disciple?

Growing up I remember going to Youth 2000 in Oshkosh. I never wanted to go at first, but following the weekend I was fired up to live my faith. Other than that, it was helping serve at the parish and my mother’s stubbornly loving insistence on going to adoration in high school.

Who are your teams?

Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago White Sox.

What is your favorite day on the Liturgical Calendar?

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Which saint should people ask to intercede for your vocation?

St. Claude de la Colombiere.