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Last day in Las Vegas

It turns out I didn’t get the sunrise photos I wanted on our last day in Las Vegas. It was raining when the sun came up and still raining when we left the hotel, although the rain let up early in the morning. However, we did find a decent donut shop, found a beautiful Sunday Mass, and had lunch with our friend Kerrie, with whom we couldn’t seem to connect Friday evening.

Early morning quiet in our room at the Orleans.

Early morning quiet in our room at the Orleans.

The donut shop we found was Ronald’s Donuts at 4600 West Spring Mountain Road. The donuts were delicious. The coffee was tolerable, which is to say it was indeed coffee, and no worse than the stuff in the hotel room. But this place was all about the donuts. We’ll be back.

Since Kathryn and I are almost always in Las Vegas over a Sunday when we visit, and since we’re both Catholic, we always find some way to fulfill our Mass obligation. Usually we attend Guardian Angel Cathedral, which is conveniently located just north of Encore, right on the Strip itself, with its Sunday Mass times starting as early as 2:30 pm on Saturday.

This time we decided to try St. Bridget’s, a parish about a mile east of Downtown Las Vegas. It’s not in the nicest neighborhood. We drove by a number of apparently homeless people on the way from the freeway to the church, and we couldn’t help but notice the large fence around the property. But what a liturgy!

We went to the 9:30 am Mass. With the exception of the Liturgy of the Word, which was in English, the Mass was sung in Latin with Gregorian chant. There was no instrumental accompaniment, so the chant was truly a cappella.

On the way into the church, ushers passed out sheets with the Order of the Mass in Latin for the benefit of those of us more used to English. Other than a few tongue-twisting words, Kathryn and I were able to follow along quite easily. Communion was received kneeling, old school. We liked it. If our schedule permits, we’ll most likely visit St. Bridget’s again next time we’re in Las Vegas.

After Mass, we finally caught up with Kerrie. After some deliberation, we decided to have lunch at the “secret” pizza place at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. We each ordered two slices of pizza and a soda, which, in retrospect, was a whole lot more expensive than just ordering one large pizza would have been. After eating, it was nice to be able to hang out on the third floor of the casino near the pizzeria and just chat for a while. The three of us spent a couple hours catching up until we had to start the long drive back.

The drive home to Phoenix was uneventful, which is the best thing one can hope for. I was more tired than usual, for some reason, so I compensated by driving a bit slower. We made a couple stops for bathrooms and refreshments and were home before we knew it.