By Steve Beauregard
For Catholics like me, it’s hard to see a whole Sunday go by without going to Mass, even when on vacation in Las Vegas. In fact, going to Mass while in Las Vegas on vacation is the perfect spiritual antidote to the craziness of the Las Vegas Strip. It can also act as important reminder that God’s goodness lives on, even in a place called “Sin City.”
Fortunately, there are two Roman Catholic Churches close to the Las Vegas Strip, and over twenty-five more throughout the Las Vegas valley. (It is estimated that Las Vegas is home to between a half a million and 600,000 Catholics).
One of the two Las Vegas Strip-area churches is on the north end, close to the Wynn, while the other is on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard, close to Excalibur, Luxor, Tropicana, and MGM Grand.
The Guardian Angel is the closest Catholic Church to the north Las Vegas Strip
Catholic Church on the North End of the Las Vegas Strip
In between the Strip and the Las Vegas Convention Center sets the Guardian Angel Cathedral.
Opened in 1963, this distinctive, modernist, A-frame style cathedral boasts several beautiful large stained glass windows. The church itself sits in the shadow of the giant, bronze Encore Hotel and Casino (part of the Wynn/Encore complex), right across E. Desert Inn Road.
Here’s their address, phone and website:
Guardian Angel Cathedral
302 Cathedral Way
Las Vegas, NV. 8910
Phone: (702) 735-5241
The Mass Schedule is as follows:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.
Saturday: 12:10 p.m, 2:30, 4, and 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m., 9:30, 11, 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
There is a large parking lot just to the north of the church.
Just as a quick driving tip, you cannot get to the church when driving east (away from Las Vegas Blvd), as there are median dividers preventing you from turning left.
(Here’s a map showing you – in red – the two Catholic churches on Las Vegas Blvd.)
You can easily get to the church by driving north on the Strip, then going past the Wynn/Encore buildings, and past E. Desert Inn Road. The first quick right after Desert Inn Road will be “Cathedral Way.” Take a right on this and it will lead you right to the Guardian Angel Cathedral
If you’re driving on Desert Inn Road going west (towards the Strip), take a right on Channel 8 Road (named because the TV station Channel 8 is right across the street from the church). The church will be visible on your left.
A building to the east of the cathedral hosts the offices of the The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas.
The church was designed by renowned architect, Paul R. Williams, who also designed homes for Frank Sinatra, and Lucille Ball, amongst others. He also helped design several commercial buildings in Los Angeles, as well as the Los Angeles International Airport or (LAX).
According to the Paul R. Williams Project website, land for the Guardian Church was donated to the Catholic Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas by infamous Jewish Las Vegas mobster Moe Dalitz. Dalitz apparently began engaging in numerous acts of charity as a well to help his reputation in town. (Dalitz is supposedly the inspiration for the character named “Moe Greene” in the movie “The Godfather.”)
Catholic Church on the South End of the Las Vegas Strip
On the south end of Las Vegas Blvd., The Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer holds six Masses on Sundays.
The church is just one block east of the Strip, easily within walking distance of resorts like the Luxor, Excalibur, NY-NY, and others, including the MGM Grand, where you would have about a ten minute walk to church.
Here is their address and phone number:
The Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer
55 E Reno Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 891-8600
This modern, adobe church is best described as being directly behind the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. It sets on the corner of E. Reno Avenue and Giles. It faces the massive Strip behemoths, like Mandalay Bay, and the aforementioned Luxor, Excalibur, and NY-NY.
The Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church is just a block away from the Las Vegas Strip
The church opened in 1993, and can seat 2,200 worshipers.
This modern interior of this chapel also has a small gift shop, (offering religious items like rosaries, medals, etc. for sale – not touristy stuff.)
The gift shop is only open for a half hour during weekdays, from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Saturdays, the gift shop is open from 1 – 1:30 p.m., and from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
On Sundays, the gift shop is open from 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., but is closed during mass. Speaking of which…
Monday – Friday: 12:10 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (There is also a 12:10 p.m. Liturgy of the Virgin Mary)
Sunday: 8 a.m., 9:30, 11, 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
(Photos courtesy of Haydn Blackley (top photo) and Chris Yunker via Flickr).