LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In a major step signifying the authority of the region’s first-ever archbishop, the Pope’s personal representative Monday bestowed Archbishop George Leo Thomas with a pallium.
The pallium is a woolen vestment worn on the shoulders by archbishops and represents Thomas’ authority as a metropolitan archbishop, the archdiocese said. The pallium symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope has entrusted to him.
“We promote … George Leo Thomas of Las Vegas to the office of Metropolitan Archbishop of the new Ecclesiastical province,” Cardinal Christophe Pierre said Monday at the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer. “Together with all the rights, faculties and obligations which belong to this responsibility according to the norm of law.”
At a full mass, Pierre began the process of acknowledging the canonical establishment of the Archdiocese of Las Vegas.
Thomas is the first Archbishop and the region’s third bishop ever. After being adorned with the pallium, Thomas spoke to his parishioners.
“I believe in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,” Thomas said in prayer. “Confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Thomas was elevated from Bishop in May. Las Vegas was previously under the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Thomas traveled to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis in June. On Oct. 2, there was a large ceremony in Las Vegas when the “Ambassador of the Holy See” visited the area.
No pope has ever visited Las Vegas. However, Pope Benedict XVI did visit Nevada before becoming the pontiff.