Las Vegas made an archdiocese

The rapid and sustained growth of both the general population and especially of the Catholic population in Nevada has resulted in the decision of Pope Francis to make Las Vegas a metropolitan archdiocese and to assign the other and older Nevada Diocese of Reno and the neighboring Diocese of Salt Lake City in Utah as its suffragan sees.

The new metropolitan province will include the metropolitan see of Las Vegas, and the suffragan sees of Reno, Nevada, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The new province's three sees had previously all been suffragan sees of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The rapid growth of all the three dioceses in the new metropolitan province was clear. Additional and extensive study preceded the decision, which the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, announced on May 30, 2023.

The present and third bishop of Las Vegas, George L. Thomas becomes the first metropolitan archbishop of Las Vegas. He will travel to Rome for the June 29 reception of the pallium, the liturgical symbol of his new office.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre will impose the pallium on Archbishop Thomas at a Mass at the Shrine of the Holy Redeemer, Las Vegas, on Oct. 2. The day chosen is the feast of the Guardian Angels, the title of the now-Metropolitan Cathedral of Las Vegas.

Some 40 years ago, there were initial investigations within the San Francisco Province about creating another ecclesiastical province. The process continued for several decades with wide consultations not only among the bishops and dioceses directly concerned, but as is customary, with various committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, bordering dioceses, and with the Holy See through successive apostolic nuncios to the U.S.

At that time, in addition to the Nevada and Utah dioceses, the metropolitan see of San Francisco included as a suffragan diocese the then-Diocese of Agana, Guam, which was 17 times zones west of the City by the Bay. Agana was made a metropolitan archdiocese in 1984.

The reconfigured San Francisco Province now includes the metropolitan see of San Francisco and six suffragan sees: Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton in California, and Honolulu, Hawaii.