HELENA – Bishop George Leo Thomas of Helena has been named by Pope Francis as the new bishop of Las Vegas.
Thomas will be installed as Bishop of Las Vegas on May 15 after serving as bishop of Helena for nearly 14 years.
Thomas, well-known among Catholics in Montana, was born in Anaconda and raised in nearby Butte.
A graduate of Carroll College, Thomas was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle in 1976.
As the bishop of Helena, Thomas dedicated three new churches and ordained 18 permanent deacons and 14 priests for the Diocese of Helena.
Thomas also oversaw the lawsuit and settlement of sexual abuse accusations of children during the time period of the 1930’s until the 1970’s.
In addition to serving on numerous boards and committees in the Diocese of Helena and as chancellor of Carroll College,
Thomas is also an honorary member of the Blackfeet Nation.
“It is difficult to leave Montana,” Thomas said. “But Pope Francis requests that each bishop possess a generous missionary spirit. In light of the Holy Father’s request and with humble thanks for the confidence he places in me, I joyfully accept this appointment.”
The current bishop of Las Vegas, Joseph A. Pepe, is retiring after serving in that position for nearly 17 years.
The Diocese of Helena is expected to release more information about a replacement later this week.