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Pope Francis appoints 1st Las Vegas auxiliary bishop

Updated May 28, 2021 - 5:53 pm

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Gregory Gordon as the Diocese of Las Vegas’ first auxiliary bishop.

As auxiliary bishop, Gordon — who currently serves as the diocese’s vicar general — will assist Bishop George Leo Thomas in the performance of his administrative and pastoral duties.

Appointment of an auxiliary bishop here reflects “the significance of Las Vegas, not only as a city in Nevada or the United States, but as a center of Catholic population and the Catholic community,” said Gordon, who will be ordained as auxiliary bishop during a Mass on July 16.

The announcement of Gordon’s appointment was made Friday in Rome, and also in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Gordon said he learned of the impending appointment last Saturday during a phone call from Pierre.

“He called while I was driving in my car to the First Communion of my niece,” Gordon said. “He said, ‘Pull off to the side of the road.’ I did.”

After hearing the news, “I told him I was honored but unworthy,” Gordon said. “I think that every person, that’s what they’d feel.”

In a release, Thomas called it “a real honor for our diocese’s first auxiliary bishop to be a local priest who grew up in Las Vegas. This is a tremendous announcement for our Diocese, and I am grateful for the assistance of Bishop-elect Gordon in our service throughout Southern Nevada.”

Gordon, 60, was born in Philadelphia and moved to Boulder City with his family at the age of 13. His father, a pediatrician, was considering transferring his practice either to the suburbs of Philadelphia or another part of the country. Then, during a vacation trip, “my dad saw a hospital being built in Boulder City.”

He asked if it had a pediatrician. “They said no, and he said yes,” Gordon said, and in December 1973, the family moved to Southern Nevada.

Gordon was ordained a priest in what then was the Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas on Jan. 16, 1988. His assignments here have included serving as parochial vicar at St. Francis de Sales parish, associate pastor and administrator at St. Anne parish, campus minister at UNLV, associate pastor at Our Lady of Las Vegas parish, administrator and pastor at St. Christopher parish, and pastor at St. Francis of Assisi parish.

The Diocese of Las Vegas was created in 1995 when the former Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas was divided into two dioceses. The Las Vegas diocese serves about 620,000 Catholics in Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties.

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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