76°F
weather icon Clear

Bishop’s ordination filled the soul

Hundreds of devout souls came out Friday to celebrate one of Boulder City’s own, the Rev. Gregory Gordon, who was ordained as the first auxiliary bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.

People traveled from throughout Southern Nevada, California and across the nation to attend. There might even have been a few international visitors.

The size of the crowd more closely resembled that of a concert or major sporting event. Parking outside the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer in Las Vegas overflowed to the nearby streets and industrial parks.

The ordination was unlike anything I have ever been to before, including the ordination of a Methodist minister.

I have been to numerous services in a Catholic church, but Gordon’s ordination was filled with centuries-old rituals and ceremonial pomp.

The prestige of his new position warranted the attention it received.

In some ways, the ordination reminded me of the Jewish High Holy days. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department were on site to make sure there were no incidents and to help direct traffic. Special tickets were required for entry. Ushers helped people find seats. And those attending were dressed in their finest attire.

But once the service began, that’s where the similarities ended. The ordination was conducted in English, Spanish and a language I believe was Latin. I have never seen so many officiants take part in a single service.

There was an assembly of bishops and archbishops, each wearing ceremonial robes and miters. Whenever they had to move, they were escorted by altar servants.

There was a ceremonial choir and what sounded like a full-fledged orchestra, though it was probably fewer musicians.

A program, which contained the names of those officiating, prayers and music, offered some help as it explained many of the symbols being used throughout the ordination ceremony. It also left much unexplained for those unfamiliar with the rites.

Like any religious service, a single word or two didn’t adequately describe what the uninitiated were about to witness or how long it would take.

While I didn’t understand much of what was happening, I certainly appreciated the solemnity of the occasion and the pageantry.

Gordon, a 1978 graduate of Boulder City High School, was overwhelmed with emotion throughout the nearly three-hour ceremony. His smile was as wide as it could be as he walked around the sanctuary showing everyone assembled there his Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis announcing his appointment.

When he finally had the opportunity to address the congregation, his voice trembled as he struggled to fight back tears of joy, describing the significance of the day, thanking everyone for their support and promising to fulfill his new role to the best of his abilities.

It was a beautiful event and whether you were of the Catholic faith or not, it filled the soul with the spirit of benevolence and brotherhood.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Smart development key to sustainable future

I commend my friend and colleague Mayor (Kiernan) McManus for his comments in the Boulder City Review on Sept. 1 regarding his focus on conservation to best serve the residents of Boulder City. Together, our cities have a long-standing commitment to conservation and sustainability.

Solutions to nation’s woes just take action

What if you had solutions to a multitude of problems? Would you share what you knew or would you hesitate because the facts were contrary to the status quo?

Terrorists killed more than people

Sept. 11 changed us. And not necessarily for the better.

Dont let city become ‘Pothole Paradise’

Two years ago at a public event, a friend got in my face and in an uncharacteristic, agitated voice said, “Fix my street!” Initially I thought he was joking. But after two attempts to change the subject, I realized he wasn’t laughing.

Court of public opinion too quick to judge

Most people know me for my former Throwback Thursday columns with the Boulder City Review and some people may know of me from my failed run for City Council. What people don’t know, however, is that I used to work for actor Johnny Depp through a contract I had running events at multiple properties on the Las Vegas Strip. I was Mr. Depp’s private dining planner for all of his Las Vegas trips, including events with his family.

Relax, it’s Labor Day

Monday is Labor Day, and it’s somewhat ironic that a day devoted to celebrating the American workforce is a day that most of us strive to do anything but work.

Options for conservation must be explored

Fall weather will be a welcome change in the next few weeks, it has been a hot summer. Some of the hottest temperatures on record for Southern Nevada. And most of those records have been over the past few years. We can look at the changes in water levels at Lake Mead and know that things are very different from any other time in our lifetimes.

Agostini, Eagles Closet help those in need

Since the new school year began at the beginning of the month, students and staff members at Boulder City High School have made a variety of changes to help ensure their health and welfare in the wake of COVID-19.

Water’s low cost makes it expendable

Water is essential to life. Humans and every living species can go without many things but not without water; yet many take water for granted. We water our lawns, fill our swimming pools, wash our cars, take long showers, hose down our driveways and rarely even think about the costs involved. Why? Because water is too convenient and, most importantly, inexpensive.

City long devoted to conservation, environmental issues

The water level at Lake Mead fell to 1,068 feet in July 2021. That is the lowest level since the lake was first filled following the Hoover Dam’s dedication in 1935. This month, the federal government has declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering cutbacks in water allocations to surrounding states from the river.