When it comes to serving others, Msgr. Gregory Gordon answers to a higher source.
Late last month, that source was in Rome. Pope Francis appointed Gordon as the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas’ first auxiliary bishop.
“I always feel a kind of unworthiness to accept this responsibility,” said Gordon, who grew up in Boulder City. “But, ultimately, in faith, I have to trust in the Lord that he will provide the graces necessary to fulfill (the role).”
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.
He will be ordained during a Mass on July 16 at the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer.
According to Gordon, when an area, particularly a growing area, has only one bishop, rites and events may have to be postponed. His appointment will help alleviate that.
It also sends a message that the Las Vegas area is becoming a Catholic center of note. He estimates that the Catholic population in the area is more than 750,000.
The announcement of Gordon’s appointment was made May 28 in Rome and in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Gordon said he learned of the impending appointment 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.”
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 and his family moved to Boulder City in December 1973. They had taken a motor home trip to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam from their native Philadelphia and stopped in town. Once here, his father, a pediatrician, saw the new hospital being built. He asked if it had a pediatrician. “They said no, and he said yes.”
His mother, Carole Gordon, owned and operated Oaklane Preschool Academy since its opening in 1976, as the city’s first preschool, to April 2020.
He graduated from Boulder City High School in 1978. As a student at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Gordon said he took his first catholic philosophy and theology classes.
“After a year, it became my major. I had a love for it,” he said.
When Pope John Paul II visited the United States in 1979, Gordon said he attended events and Masses with his grandmothers and it influenced his decision to enter the seminary. He was ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas in January 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.
Gordon said the “two most beautiful moments the Lord” has blessed him with through his vocation are the ability to offer reconciliation through confession and the Holy Eucharist.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.