a brief history of
st. john neumann roman catholic church
Recognizing the growing needs of the people in North Las Vegas, Bishop Daniel F. Walsh, the first bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas (est. 1995), commissioned the beginnings of a new parish in July 1998, naming it St. John Neumann and appointing Fr. Bede Wevita as its founding administrator, and subsequently, its first pastor.
A rectory was purchased which was used as a worship and meeting place, an office, and priest’s residence while the temporary church building was being constructed.
It was in the rectory that the first Mass was celebrated on December 8, 1998. Thirty-one people attended. The congregation continued to expand, as did the need for more space.
A shed was built and a doublewide trailer was donated by one of our parishioners. The first Masses were celebrated by Bishop Walsh at the new location, 4519 Simmons Street, on February 27, 1999. The parish was canonically established on March 1, 1999, the first new parish of the newly established Diocese of Las Vegas.
Parishioners have donated time and talent toward being Liturgical ministers, catechists, and volunteers of many kinds. Faithful celebrations of the Eucharist and quality pastoral music have always been the hallmark of this vibrant faith community. Eventually, groups for women and men were established: the Marthas & Marys and the Men’s Club.
In 2001, our Finance Council developed a plan for generating funds for a new parish campus. In 2002 we began our first capital campaign asking each family to make a three-year pledge toward the construction of a Parish Center (providing a temporary worship space, offices, class/meeting rooms, a first-rate kitchen and storage space).
Located at 2575 W. El Campo Grande Avenue, the new Parish Center was dedicated on December 8, 2003 by Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, the second bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas.
In addition to the established Outreach Ministries for the less fortunate, Faith Formation opportunities for children, teens and adults, and a parish gift shop, St. John Neumann was the first parish to present the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 2005; a Montessori-based method of faith formation which has grown and become the cornerstone of our Faith Formation program.
In 2009, we celebrated our 10th Anniversary with a semi-formal dinner dance which was just one of the many fellowship opportunities that St. John Neumann enjoyed both as a way to celebrate our community and to help retire the remaining Parish Center debt.
In 2012, Fr. Bede accepted an assignment to become the pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church in Summerlin. Fr. James Michael Jankowski was then appointed our administrator until beginning his assignment as our second pastor on July 1, 2013. As of July 1, 2019, we welcomed Fr. Marc Howes, who was appointed by Bishop George Leo Thomas as our third pastor.
In December of 2014, our Parish Center debt has been retired. Work is currently occurring to retire the remaining $1.6 million Land Loan as we look forward to the day when we can make a permanent Worship Center a reality. With Faith in Our Future, we look forward to continuing our mission to be Welcoming, Transformed and Generous.
our patron saint
john nepomucene neumann
Born in Prachatitz, Bohemia on March 28, 1811.
Nickname: "The Little Bishop"
Feast day: January 5
Neumann was to be ordained in his home country in 1835. However, at the time, Bohemia was overstocked with priests and the bishop decided there would be no more ordinations. He contacted bishops all over Europe, but was continually turned away. Neumann, who had learned English by working in a factory with English-speaking workers, finally wrote the bishops in America. A bishop in New York agreed to ordain him in 1836.
Neumann was one of 36 priests for 200,000 Catholics in New York and his parish in western New York stretched from Lake Ontario to Pennsylvania. He spent most of his time traveling from village to village to visit the sick, to teach and to celebrate Mass.
He joined the Redemptorists, a congregation of priests and brothers dedicated to helping the poor and most abandoned in 1840. He served as a rector of parishes in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and later became head of the Redemptorists in the United States.
In 1852, he was appointed Bishop of Philadelphia by Pope Pius IX. As bishop, he was the first to organize a diocesan Catholic school system, and he increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese from two to 100.
The ability to learn languages that had brought him to America led him to learn Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch so he could hear confessions in at least six languages.
Neumann died on January 5, 1860. He was declared a Saint of the Church in 1977 and his feast day is January 5th.