Brother Vincent Anthony Gross, C.S.C. (1938 -2020)
Vincent Gross was born in 1938 and entered Holy Cross in 1957 professing final vows in 1962. From 1960-63 he was on the maintenance staff at Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, Ohio, then working at St. Patrick’s High School in Monrovia, Liberia from 1963-1965. Returning to the States in 1965, he served for three years as director of maintenance at Holy Cross High School, River Grove, Illinois. In 1968 he was assigned to the staff at St. John’s School, Sekondi, Ghana. Brother Vincent returned to the States in 1989 for a one-year medical leave, returning to Ghana in 1990 to spend the remaining 30 years serving as a maintenance director at Holy Cross District Center and as Director of the Institute for Continuing Formation from 1999-2013. When Vincent celebrated his 40th jubilee of religious profession, he commented that “Once I joined the Brothers, I never felt a real desire to turn back. It is a very satisfying life because I am in a situation where I am helping others.” From his earliest days in Holy Cross, his superiors found him to be an industrious, committed and earnest brother. Not being drawn to the academic life, Vincent demonstrated a natural affinity for using his intellect and his hands for the maintenance and care of all the places where he was assigned. He could be depended upon to carry out all assigned tasks with exactness. While at Holy Cross High School in the late sixties, he was known as “Brother Fix-It”. Upon going to Ghana, he knew that the maintenance equipment there would be primitive by US standards, and his goal was to set up a modern maintenance department at St. John’s School in Sekondi. With the assistance of the Holy Cross High School Mission Club a major manufacturing company gave Vincent $1,000 worth of shop equipment. For most of his remaining years in Ghana he begged and cajoled many Province schools and acquaintances for all manner of industrial and maintenance equipment. He recruited many brothers to bring him all manner of tools and machine parts to assist him in his work. In a homily given in Ghana by Brother Joe Tsiquaye at Vincent’s 40th jubilee celebration, he said, “The talents of Uncle Vince (Ghanaian term of respect) know no bounds. He was a spare school bus driver and an able mechanic. Uncle Vince can play too. He’s a skin diver, fisherman, card player, and keen competitor in chess. [He] came to Ghana in the era of the Holy Cross Giants. The students believed all Holy Cross Religious are geniuses and Uncle Vince was no exception. From his workshop in the basement of the old dining hall at St. John’s there was nothing Uncle Vince could not fix. It can truly be said of Uncle Vince that he was the master of all trades.” St. Paul writes to the Romans: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned” (12:3). Brother Vincent Gross was the ever-faithful man of sober judgment for all of his 60 years in Holy Cross.