Brother Placid Gross Celebrates 50 Years as Benedictine Monk

“Brother Placid Gross celebrates 50 years as Benedictine monk.” New Earth, July/August 2009, 6.

Family, relatives, friends and neighbors gathered in Richardton June 27 for Brother Placid Gross’ golden jubilee celebration.  Abbot Brian Wangler was the main celebrant and homilist at the jubilee Mass, which was followed by dinner and a program for more than 200 guests. 

Brother Placid joined Assumption Abbey in 1957, and made his profession as a Benedictine Monk on July 11, 1959.  His main assignment has been working on the Abbey’s farm and ranch.  For about 40 of the 50 years, he was also the farm manager.  Even today, though no longer the manager, he still works on the farm.  He also is the curator of the Abbey Museum.

Brother Placid is the son of the late John M. and Magdalena (Vetter) Gross and the brother of Father Richard Gross, Grand Forks.  He was born on the family farm in rural Kintyre.  He was baptized and confirmed in St. Anthony’s Church in rural Napoleon and attended school in Mannheim School District in Logan County. 

Besides being busy with the daily schedule of monastic life, he has pursued several outside interest, the most notable of which is his work in genealogy and family history.  He has published several volumes of family genealogy.  That interest has also taken him to places like Ukraine, Germany and Alsace Lorraine in France, doing research and visiting ancestral homes and villages.

He has written a book on the history of Mannheim School District, and is currently doing research and putting together a history of St. Anthony’s Church of rural Napoleon, which was closed in the 1960’s.  He is also an active member of the Germans from Russia Historical Society, with a special interest in German Russian Folklore.

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