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Bishop Thomas -  Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent
Yesterday, The Most Reverend George Leo Thomas, Ph.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas, taped a Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent: Laetare Sunday.



COVID-19 is not God's judgment, but a call to live differently,
Pope Francis says in Ubri et Orbi homily

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

Full text of the Pope's homily
English / Spanish

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is not God's judgment on humanity, but God's call on people to judge what is most important to them and resolve to act accordingly from now on, Pope Francis said.

Addressing God, the pope said that "it is not the time of your judgment, but of our judgment: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others."
Read more.


What is a plenary indulgence?
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he will grant a plenary indulgence to the faithful who watch or listen to his extraordinary blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) at 6 p.m. Rome time March 27.

Special indulgences have also been granted to those suffering from COVID-19, their caregivers, friends and family and those who help them with their prayers.

But what is this ancient practice of offering indulgences through prayer and penance and what is needed to receive them?
Read more


Vatican asks bishops to help faithful celebrate Holy Week, Easter at home
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has asked Catholic bishops around the world, both in the Latin rite and the Eastern Catholic Churches, to provide their faithful with resources to support personal and family prayer during Holy Week and at Easter, especially where COVID-19 restrictions prevent them from going to church.

The Congregation for Eastern Churches, publishing "indications" March 25 for the Paschal celebrations in the churches it supports, urged the heads of the churches to issue concrete, specific norms for the celebrations "in accordance with the measures established by the civil authorities for the containment of the contagion."  Read more


Pope Francis urges Catholics to 'unite spiritually' in praying rosary
Pope Francis has invited every family, every individual Catholic, and every religious community to pray the Luminous mysteries on Thursday, March 19 at 9:00 pm Rome time. However, during this time of crisis we can continue to pray the rosary every day of the week in unity. Watch Eucharistic Adoration in EWTN Chapel and Holy Rosary from Lourdes.



Pope announces extraordinary 'urbi et orbi' blessing March 27

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said he will give an extraordinary blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) at 6 p.m. Rome time March 27.

The formal blessing -- usually given only immediately after a new pope's election and on Christmas and Easter -- carries with it a plenary indulgence for all who follow by television, internet or radio, are sorry for their sins, recite a few prescribed prayers and promise to go to confession and to receive the Eucharist as soon as possible.

After reciting the Angelus prayer March 22 from the library of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis announced his plans for the special blessing, which, he said, would be given in an "empty" St. Peter's Square because all of Italy is on lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus. Read more.


Coronavirus Update: Bishop Thomas' Pastoral Letter to the People of the Diocese of Las Vegas

Oprima Aquí Para Español

March 18, 2020

My Dear Friends in Christ,

People across the entire globe have been plunged into a world of hardship and uncertainty as the coronavirus continues to take its toll in every nation.

As individuals and families, we are facing the specter of critical illness, certain economic hardship, and the massive disruption of our daily lives.

The Church is no stranger to adversity, suffering, or privation.

In times of difficulty, she has always raised her voice in prayer and earnest supplication, confident that God will hear our every prayer and answer all our pleas.

Down through the centuries, the Blessed Mother has played a vitally important role in times of trial, coming to us as a tender Mother, a tireless advocate, steadfast Intercessor, and cherished friend.

She has visited her people under the familiar titles of Virgin of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Antipolo, and Our Lady of La Vang.

She is beloved in Poland as Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Ireland as Our Lady of Knock, and in Japan as Our Lady of Akita.

Mary is revered by the people in Bosnia–Herzegovina as Our Lady of Medugorje, and in Spain, she is treasured as Our Lady of the Pillar. Mary is known in France as Our Lady of Lourdes, and in Portugal as Our Lady of Fatima.

On May 13, 1846, the Bishops of the United States unanimously chose the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Patroness of our Nation. Their decision was ratified by Pope Pius IX on February 7 of the following year.

Now is the hour to turn to our Blessed Mother for her maternal help. She is always ready and willing to carry our prayers and petitions to the heart of her Son.

Mary’s own words, contained in the Gospel of St. Luke, capture the special place that she holds in salvation history as the advocate and friend of God’s holy people. The Scripture says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.”

I ask you, the people of the Diocese of Las Vegas, to turn to the Blessed Mother, who helps us keep the eyes of our hearts fixed on her Son Jesus during dark and trying days.

The words of a powerful prayer called the Memorare , and attributed to St. Bernard, assure us that when we turn to Mary in times of need we have this blessed assurance -- that never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession was left unaided.

When our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego, she posed to him a question that is intended also for you and me. Mary asked Juan Diego, “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”

Her question is a not-so-subtle assurance that Mary is our Mother too, standing ready and willing to protect and defend us, her children, in times of trouble and uncertainty.

I ask you, the people of the Diocese of Las Vegas, to bring your troubles to Mary. Give her your burdens, your worries. Share with her your cares and concerns. Be assured that under her maternal mantle, prayers are answered and miracles still happen.

Mary will not forsake her children in their hour of need, nor will she neglect our prayers in times of difficulty and distress.

In the days ahead, I ask you to consider praying the Rosary as a family, and ask parents and grandparents to teach your children about the healing power of Mary’s maternal care.

I ask all parishioners to pray the beautiful Memorare at the close of each day, directing your prayer toward those who are sick and suffering, those who have died, for healthcare workers and researchers, and for civic leaders, who are under particular duress during these trying days.

I ask you to invite Mary our Mother into your hearts and homes, and to venerate her as your loving Mother, as one who will lead you and your families closer to the heart of her Son.

Each Sunday, I ask you to consider reading the Sunday readings as a family, allowing the living Word of God to draw you into the heart of the Word made Flesh.

Finally, I commend our entire Diocese to the maternal care of Mary, entreating her to “pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,” and protect our people with grace, peace, and temporal relief.

I close this reflection with the consoling words of St. Francis De Sales, who had deep devotion to Our Lady, and unfailing faith in God’s Provident care. He wrote, “Do not fear what will happen tomorrow. The same loving God who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. God will either shield you from suffering or will give you the unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”

Be certain of my daily prayers and blessings.

Bishop George Leo Thomas, Ph.D.
Bishop of Las Vegas

Click HERE to read previous letters.


Bishop Thomas' 2020 CSA Reflection

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