Bishop Rassas, Class of ’68, received the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin In Service of One Another Catholic Humanitarian Award at the 31st Annual Rector’s Classic Awards Dinner with over 200 guests. He received this honor for many years of service to the Church, living as a faithful servant. Fr. Kartje and Cardinal Cupich spoke fondly of him as they enumerated Bishop Rassas’s many accomplishments in their introductions.
Fr. Kartje shared with the audience how spending an evening with your Bishop at a local Culver’s could influence someone’s future path, as he often did with his youth ministry. Cardinal Cupich described Bishop Rassas as a “rudder of faith to so many people for so many years.”
Among Bishop Rassas’s most notable accomplishments is the founding of the Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep School in Waukegan. He also took a special interest in working with Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren of Piura, Peru, to support the poor of the parishes in Lima and Piura with volunteer mission groups as well as fundraise for their cause.
In addition to parish duties, Bishop was the Associate Director of the Catholic Family Counseling Service and the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women until he was made Pastor of the Church of St. Mary. He was named Vicar General in 2004 when he also joined the Board of Maryville Academy, which he continues to this day. After being named Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago in 2005, he served on the USCCB Committee for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. This appointment led to his creating and working with Young Adult groups in the Vicariate.
He continues to serve as a consultant to the USCCB Committee for Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers.
As Deacon, he served at St. Thaddeus Parish in the south of Chicago at the time of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King shortly before Easter in 1968.
As Bishop Rassas humbly accepted his award he said, “I have always done what I have been asked to do, and the Lord hasn’t let me down.”