Most Reverend Andrew G. Grutka, D.D.
Ordained December 5, 1933
Appointed Bishop of Gary December 29, 1956
Consecrated February 25, 1957
Retired July 9, 1984
Died November 11, 1993
Quoted from In the Presence of Angels by Dominic V. Bertino with permission of the author.
Andrew Gregory Grutka, a native of Joliet, Illinois, was ordained in Rome for the Diocese of Fort Wayne on December 5, 1933. At the time of his appointment as bishop, he was the pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Gary. The new diocese, at its establishment, found itself with 129 active diocesan priests, 77 parishes, 60 parish schools and 135,485 Catholics, which was roughly 25 percent of the population. During his 27-year ministry as the first bishop of the diocese, Bishop Grutka ordained 81 priests for diocesan service and established two parish schools.
The first 10 years of diocesan growth paralleled the changes of society as well as renewal within the universal Church. Some communities flourished while others began to wither. During this time, Bishop Grutka was known for his passionate opposition to racial injustice, going so far as to denounce such practices during one of the sessions of the Second Vatican Council on October 28, 1964.
With a special affinity for the education of youth, Andrean High School in Merrillville was one of the first enterprises Bishop Grutka undertook for the new diocese. After a fire destroyed the gymnasium building of Bishop Noll High School, a bigger, more modern edifice was built that would become Bishop Noll Institute. Under Bishop Grutka, Saint Mary Parish High School in Michigan City, the oldest secondary school in the diocese, would now become the newest with the establishment of Marquette Catholic High School in LaPorte County.
Known for his love for nature, he actively supported Camp Lawrence in Valparaiso, which included the summer camp for youth sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization of the diocese.
In 1983, the Albertine Home in Hammond was established as a retirement home for priests, staffed by the Albertine Sisters, who arrived in the area in 1974 from the Diocese of Krakow in Poland.
Bishop Grutka retired in 1984 but continued to be active and to minister to the people at the pleasure of the new bishop. He died on November 11, 1993, and is entombed in the east transept of Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary.