Around the Diocese

Vatican Appoints The Most Reverend Daniel Mueggenborg the New Bishop of Reno


RENO — Pope Francis has named Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg as the eighth Bishop of Reno after having accepted Bishop Randolph R. Calvo’s request for retirement. Bishop Mueggenborg currently serves as Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Seattle.

He will be introduced to the priests and religious of the diocese on July 20 at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral. The presentation will be live-streamed at 10 a.m. at https://youtu.be/jB-DkOpOPZ4. Bishop Mueggenborg will be installed as the Bishop of Reno on September 24.

Born and raised in rural western Oklahoma, Bishop Mueggenborg graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1984 with a geology degree and a related computer science degree. He attended the pre-theology program at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and the theology program at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tulsa in 1989. Read more.

Bishop Gordon Livestream Ordination Link Image4

Bishop Thomas, Bishop Emeritus Pepe, and Bishop-Elect Gordon celebrate with 20 Sisters of the Lovers of the Holy Cross as they renewed their Vows on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
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The Relaxation of the Dispensation to Attend Mass has Ended
It is with great confidence and trust in the Lord, The Most Reverend George Leo Thomas, Ph.D. Reinstates weekly and Holy Day Mass obligations 
STARTING JULY 1, 2021.
The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas calls all Catholics to return to in-person Mass. Our Parishes are counting on parishioners to celebrate the Mass as a community of faith. Parishioners should consult their local pastor with any questions about the ending of the special dispensation.

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Holy Father Pope Francis Names Diocese of Las Vegas' First Auxiliary Bishop

My dear Priests, Deacons, Staff, and Friends of the Diocese of Las Vegas,

It is with great joy that I share with you the news that today, our Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Gregory W. Gordon, Vicar General of the Diocese of Las Vegas, as Auxiliary Bishop of Las Vegas with the Titular See of Novapietra.

This is the first time the Diocese of Las Vegas has ever had an Auxiliary Bishop. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, hopes to attend the Ordination to proclaim the papal letter at the Ordination Mass of Bishop-elect Gordon on Friday, 16 July 2021. I will be the ordaining prelate of the Mass.

I ask you to keep Bishop-elect Gordon in your prayers. Kindly mark your calendars to concelebrate and to assist at the Episcopal Ordination Mass on July 16. The location of the Ordination is yet to be determined. More information regarding the details of that day will be forthcoming.

Let us give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon us, the clergy, and the faithful of the Diocese of Las Vegas on this day.Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend George Leo Thomas, Ph.D.
Bishop of Las Vegas

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Date: May 21, 2021

Bishop Thomas is pleased to announce he has made the following (click HERE) priestly appointments. 

May God bless them and those they will serve. 

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2021 0917 Diocesan Conference Banner

We are excited to announce that the Diocesan Conference WILL be happening in person this year at the Orleans Hotel Conference Center on September 17 & 18, 2021. The hotel staff, as well as our Conference organizers will follow all safety protocols with regard to wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing.

RISE! is the theme for this year’s Conference. We recall familiar stories in scripture where Jesus calls to the person he heals to, ‘Rise!’ or ‘Take up your mat and walk.’ or ‘Come out!’ Each person is restored to their rightful place in society. Each is called to witness to Jesus as Son of God and Savior of the World! We, too, are called to witness to Jesus –  as a community of faith – as baptized members of the Body of Christ in the Catholic Church!

Over the next few months you will hear more about our presenters by way of our Conference website (www.lasvegasdiocesanconference.org) and our parish bulletins.

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                                                       Don’t miss this!

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Date: March 29, 2021

Bishop Thomas Extends Dispensation from the Obligation of Mass

DECREE 
Dispensation from the Obligation to Attend Mass 
Extension - April 5, 2021 through April 25, 2021

While I have granted permission to begin the reopening of public Masses, due to the ongoing gravity of the present moment and the restrictions being placed on us during the civil reopening plan, I hereby extend the dispensation for all Catholic faithful of             the Diocese of Las Vegas and those Catholics visiting within the geographic boundaries of our Diocese, from the obligation of attending Sunday Masses and Holy Days of Obligation up to and including April 25, 2021.

While we recognize that many are eager to return to Mass in our churches, it remains important for those who are elderly and otherwise at risk to refrain from returning to public Liturgies until it is manifestly safe to do so. For all the faithful, especially those who are sick, at high risk of becoming sick, and their caregivers, the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is hereby dispensed.

Sincerely yours in Christ, 

Most Revered George L. Thomas, Ph.D. 
Bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas

Click HERE for Original Decree
Leer en español
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Bishop Thomas visits Holy Child Mission in Caliente for Confirmation 

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Within the Diocese of Las Vegas's boundaries and far beyond the lights of Las Vegas lies a treasure trove of natural beauty and friendly rural communities. Among them is the small city of Caliente, named for the hot springs that flow from the base of the mountain.

On March 20, Bishop Thomas drove on Nevada's Great Basin Highway, one of the roads lesser-traveled in his diocese, up the marshy Pahranagat Valley, across the expansive Delamar Valley, and through the Delamar Mountains to Holy Child Mission in Caliente for Confirmation. Bishop Thomas said, " Holy Child is one of the hidden gems in the Diocese of Las Vegas.

The small parish is a Mission of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ely. Holy Child is served by Deacon Patrick FitzSimmons, who provides the parish's daily pastoral needs with the assistance of family and volunteers. The enthusiastic parish team offers religious education and sacramental preparation for first communion, confirmation, and RCIA. Bishop Thomas, moved by their commitment to ministry and mission work, said, "I am profoundly grateful to Deacon Patrick FitzSimmons, his wife Millie, his son Sean, volunteers, and extended family for the countless ways they pour life out in service to this faith community." Once a month, the pastor drives the 268 miles round trip from Ely to celebrate Mass and give pastoral support to the Mission. Bishop Thomas continued, "So too, I commend Father Lourdes for his monthly visits to the parish for the celebration of Holy Mass.

Holy Child Mission serves greater Lincoln County, known for the community spirit and celebrations of Caliente, Panaca, and the county seat Pioche. During the Summer months, many Catholic families escape the heat and traffic of Clark County by heading North to Lincoln County, home of natural wonders and recreational opportunities. A place where people are welcoming and friendly. Holy Child is no different with generational families engaged in parish life welcome visitors with a smile and a hello. Bishop Thomas experiencing the community's generous hospitality and faithfulness, said, "I was the beneficiary of the community's warmth and welcome, and was immediately impressed by the depth and strength I found in the faith of the Confirmation Candidates." Upon deeper reflection, he said, "Already, I look forward to a return visit to Caliente, and ask God to bless the community abundantly with health and safety until I return again.”     
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Bishop Thomas Confirms 20 in Sandy Valley

At the secluded southern end of the expansive Pahrump Valley is Sandy Valley, where a small Mission of Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas stands.

On Sunday, March 14, Bishop George Leo Thomas, Ph.D. made the hour trek, including the steep mountain-pass road winding between the mountainous Shenandoah Peak and Table Mountain to Sandy Valley. The only paved road into Sandy Valley.

This rustic refuge tucked away 35 miles Southwest of Las Vegas lies among the rolling sand dunes for which it is named. Among the circular Alfalfa fields and small ranches is St. Catherine of Siena Mission, where Bishop Thomas administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 20 Catholic youth.

Concelebrating with Bishop Thomas was Fr. Shawn Dresden. He is not only the pastor of St. Catherine, Fr. Shawn, is also a favored son of sorts.  He received his First Communion and Confirmation there as a parishioner.

Assisting at the Confirmation Mass was Deacon Rick Minch. He also was the catechist for the class and handles the daily operations of the mission parish. 

Although this is Bishop Thomas' first time coming to Sandy Valley, it likely won't be his last. He always enjoys the warm hospitality and friendly atmosphere in the Diocese's rural parishes. Departing St. Catherine of Siena Mission, he said, "Already I look forward to another visit to this very special place." 
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Journey Towards Easter:
A Special Message to the 2021 Elect

2021 Elect BGLT Photo


Click HERE to see the names of the Elect from our parishes.
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Bishop Thomas’ 2021 CSA Reflection
Strengthening One Another in the Faith

To Donate to CSA, Click HERE Today
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Bishop Thomas visits Catholic Charities Encountering the Gospel 

By Deacon Tim O’Callaghan

Today Bishop Thomas, in the imagery of the Gospel of Matthew, fed the hungry, welcomed the stranger, cared for the brokenhearted, and visited those held captive in the poverty of loneliness.

Visiting Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, Bishop Thomas distributed meals, held a prayer service for the staff, and greeted the poor and hungry lined up for a block and a half.  Reflecting on the day, he said, “I was deeply moved by the courage, compassion, and creativity of our amazing Catholic Charities staff, who have remained on the front lines from the beginning of the pandemic.” With a sense of humility, he continued, “On behalf of the entire community, I thank them.” Catholic Charities reopened today at half capacity and with no volunteers, after closing a week ago, when a man in the overnight shelter tested positive for COVID-19. 

Although many Catholic Charities clients are experiencing the hardship of homelessness and the rigors of life on the streets, they are always grateful for the services provided to them. It was no different today as Bishop Thomas and staff not only handed out meals to hundreds; they greeted them with dignity and compassion, and in return received so much more. Bishop Thomas pondering said, “I was also deeply touched by so many expressions of gratitude from those lined up for hot meal, accompanied by a smile and a kind word. They especially blessed my day.”

Catholic Charities is the largest provider of Meals on Wheels in the State of Nevada, with the assistance of a large resort property, the meals continue to roll out. Not to be overlooked by Bishop Thomas, who said, “Among the hidden heroes in our community is the leadership of Wynn Las Vegas. With gratitude, he continued, “They are preparing a thousand meals a day for the poor for two weeks.  Their generosity has allowed our Catholic Charities crew to keep the Meals on Wheels Program alive for the homebound during these trying days.”

With the heart of a good shepherd, Bishop Thomas said, “Finally, I am grateful to the Lord for the visionary leadership of Deacon Tom Roberts and his team. They’ve been nothing short of remarkable throughout these difficult days.” Recognizing the gifts and talents of those he encounters in the fields, and among the co-workers in the vineyard, Bishop Thomas, continued, “We have walking saints in our midst!”

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Coronavirus Update: Bishop Thomas' Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese of Las Vegas

Oprima Aquí Para Español

March 18, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ,

People across the entire globe have been plunged into a world of hardship and uncertainty as the coronavirus continues to take its toll in every nation.

As individuals and families, we are facing the specter of critical illness, certain economic hardship, and the massive disruption of our daily lives.

The Church is no stranger to adversity, suffering, or privation.

In times of difficulty, she has always raised her voice in prayer and earnest supplication, confident that God will hear our every prayer and answer all our pleas.

Down through the centuries, the Blessed Mother has played a vitally important role in times of trial, coming to us as a tender Mother, a tireless advocate, steadfast Intercessor, and cherished friend.

She has visited her people under the familiar titles of Virgin of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Antipolo, and Our Lady of La Vang.

She is beloved in Poland as Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Ireland as Our Lady of Knock, and in Japan as Our Lady of Akita.

Mary is revered by the people in Bosnia–Herzegovina as Our Lady of Medugorje, and in Spain, she is treasured as Our Lady of the Pillar. Mary is known in France as Our Lady of Lourdes, and in Portugal as Our Lady of Fatima.

On May 13, 1846, the Bishops of the United States unanimously chose the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Patroness of our Nation. Their decision was ratified by Pope Pius IX on February 7 of the following year.

Now is the hour to turn to our Blessed Mother for her maternal help. She is always ready and willing to carry our prayers and petitions to the heart of her Son.

Mary’s own words, contained in the Gospel of St. Luke, capture the special place that she holds in salvation history as the advocate and friend of God’s holy people. The Scripture says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.”

I ask you, the people of the Diocese of Las Vegas, to turn to the Blessed Mother, who helps us keep the eyes of our hearts fixed on her Son Jesus during dark and trying days.

The words of a powerful prayer called the Memorare , and attributed to St. Bernard, assure us that when we turn to Mary in times of need we have this blessed assurance -- that never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession was left unaided.

When our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego, she posed to him a question that is intended also for you and me. Mary asked Juan Diego, “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”

Her question is a not-so-subtle assurance that Mary is our Mother too, standing ready and willing to protect and defend us, her children, in times of trouble and uncertainty.

I ask you, the people of the Diocese of Las Vegas, to bring your troubles to Mary. Give her your burdens, your worries. Share with her your cares and concerns. Be assured that under her maternal mantle, prayers are answered and miracles still happen.

Mary will not forsake her children in their hour of need, nor will she neglect our prayers in times of difficulty and distress.

In the days ahead, I ask you to consider praying the Rosary as a family, and ask parents and grandparents to teach your children about the healing power of Mary’s maternal care.

I ask all parishioners to pray the beautiful Memorare at the close of each day, directing your prayer toward those who are sick and suffering, those who have died, for healthcare workers and researchers, and for civic leaders, who are under particular duress during these trying days.

I ask you to invite Mary our Mother into your hearts and homes, and to venerate her as your loving Mother, as one who will lead you and your families closer to the heart of her Son.

Each Sunday, I ask you to consider reading the Sunday readings as a family, allowing the living Word of God to draw you into the heart of the Word made Flesh.

Finally, I commend our entire Diocese to the maternal care of Mary, entreating her to “pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,” and protect our people with grace, peace, and temporal relief.

I close this reflection with the consoling words of St. Francis De Sales, who had deep devotion to Our Lady, and unfailing faith in God’s Provident care. He wrote, “Do not fear what will happen tomorrow. The same loving God who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. God will either shield you from suffering or will give you the unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”

Be certain of my daily prayers and blessings.

Bishop George Leo Thomas, Ph.D.
Bishop of Las Vegas


Click HERE to read previous letters.
          

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