Bishop-Gruss-press-photoMost Rev. Robert D. Gruss
Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota

Dear Brother Bishops:

Greetings in Christ Jesus! I write to inform you that I have undertaken the task of serving as the Episcopal Moderator for the Pope Leo XIII Institute. The Pope Leo XIII Institute provides education for exorcists as well as priests and deacons involved in the ministry of exorcism and deliverance. I am quite excited to announce that the Institute is accepting applications for enrollment for its second cohort, and that Father Dennis McManus will be joining the Pope Leo XIII Institute faculty for the 2016 –2017 term.

I think you will be impressed with the Institute’s insistence that all theological formation occur in a context of contemplative prayer. Because this Institute emphasizes the spiritual formation of each priest, the men immerse themselves in prayer and the Sacraments. Each participant comes to understand this ministry as a wellspring of Jesus Christ’s love and healing power flowing through their priesthood, as well as a reaffirmation of the Sacrament of Confession as the most powerful tool, after the Eucharist, in the fight against the evil one. In addition to a faculty of experienced exorcists, the Pope Leo XIII Institute boasts a committed and talented board of directors including mental health professionals, as well as legal and canon law experts. We desire to strengthen effective collaboration between Church theologians and mental health professionals. In service of the afflicted, we enter into fruitful dialogue. Our aim is to harmonize the work of these two disciplines in order to more accurately distinguish mental health disorders from manifestations of evil.

The Institute is now accepting applications for enrollment for its second cohort of exorcists, priests, and deacons. I encourage you to enroll at least one individual from your diocese. The first cohort of over 50 men will graduate this coming November and the next course begins on February 15, 2016. The Institute’s interactive curriculum includes practical case studies and opportunities for experiential, hands on learning.

Because this ministry is one of priestly formation, education, and evangelization, my hope is that no diocese would be prevented from sending a priest to the Institute. The Pope Leo XIII Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. I assure you that the Institute will endeavor to assist in any way possible to make this an affordable opportunity for you. To identify funding sources for scholarships, the Institute is quietly approaching a select group of Catholic donors concerned with their local communities and the furthering of the Kingdom of God.

Please review the brochure to familiarize yourself with the principles and the mission of the Pope Leo XIII Institute. If you have any further inquiries, please feel free to contact me or visit the website. Thank you for your consideration and your support. Let us pray for one another!

In the hearts of Christ and Mary,

Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss

USCCB Episcopal Moderator