Alumni Association of The Pontifical North American College

Bishop Joseph Pepe retires

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pope Francis accepted a letter of resignation from Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas on February 28, 2018

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has named Bishop George L. Thomas as his successor, up until now the Bishop of Helena, Montana.  

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, February 28, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.  

Joseph Anthony Pepe was born in Philadelphia on June 18, 1942. In 1960, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and received his Doctorate in Canon Law from Rome's Pontifical University of Saint Thomas in 1976.   

He was ordained a priest on May 16, 1970. Assignments after ordination included: Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Loreta Parish; faculty member at Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield; Defender of the Bond, Metropolitan Tribunal, Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1976, and Prosynodal Judge in 1977; ten years later, he was appointed Vice Chancellor and in 1990 was named Chancellor of the Archdiocese. During his tenure in the Chancery, he served as Vice Promoter for the Cause of Blessed Katharine Drexel. From 1982 through 1987, Father Pepe was a member of the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he taught Canon law. 

In May 1991, Monsignor Pepe was named Honorary Prelate of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Upon special request of the Archbishop of Santa Fe, Monsignor Pepe went to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1993 to assist as Judicial Vicar. In 1998, he was appointed Chancellor, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for Priests for the Archdiocese. 

He was named by Pope John Paul II as the second bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas on April 6, 2001 and was ordained and installed on May 31, 2001.