New bishop to be ordained, installed August 31

Bishop-elect Alfred A. Schlert will be ordained a Bishop and installed as the Fifth Bishop of Allentown on August 31, 2017, at a special Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena at 18th and Turner Streets in Allentown. The Mass is to begin at 2 PM. The procession of Deacons, Priests and Bishops will lead Bishop-elect Schlert to the altar.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., will be the Principal Ordaining Bishop. Archbishop Christophe Pierre Apostolic Nuncio to the United States will also be in the sanctuary.

The Mass of Episcopal Ordination and Installation is expected to last two-and-a-half hours. There are a number of highlights of this special Mass:

  • The Papal Nuncio, the Pope’s representative to the United States, Archbishop Pierre, will read a document from Pope Francis mandating that Monsignor Alfred A. Schlert be ordained and installed as the Fifth Bishop of Allentown.
  • At the time when the Homily is given, the Rite of Ordination begins. Archbishop Chaput will preach a homily about the role of a Bishop and specifically address Bishop-Elect Schlert. He will examine the Candidate regarding his intentions and whether he will fulfill the responsibility of the Episcopacy. Then Bishop-elect Schlert will lay face down on the floor of the sanctuary before the altar while the Litany of Supplication is sung.
  • After the Litany, Bishop-elect Schlert will rise and kneel before Archbishop Chaput who will lay his hands in silence on the Candidate’s head, followed by the two co-ordaining Bishops doing the same. The co-ordaining Bishops are the Most Reverend Edward P. Cullen, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Allentown, who served as the Third Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown and the Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre, who served as the Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown. All the Bishops in attendance then lay hands on Bishop-elect Schlert and join in the Prayer of Ordination. After the Ordination is completed, Archbishop Chaput will anoint Bishop Schlert’s head with Sacred Chrism.
  • Lastly, he receives the insignia of the Office of the Episcopacy: his Episcopal Ring will be placed on his ring finger; the Miter (the Episcopal hat) will be placed on his head; the Crosier (the Pastoral Staff) will be placed in his hand.
  • Following the presentation of the insignia, the Archbishop and the Papal Nuncio will seat the new Bishop in his Cathedra (ceremonial chair). It is at this moment he becomes the Bishop of Allentown. After the Seating of the Bishop, he will be greeted by all of the Bishops in attendance with a Fraternal Kiss of Peace signifying his entrance into the College of Bishops.

Because of the limited number of seats available at the Cathedral, a ticket is required to attend the Mass of Episcopal Ordination and Installation. The Mass will be streamed live on the Diocesan Website and the Diocesan Facebook page and will be broadcast live locally by Service Electric Cable TV and Blue Ridge Cable Television, and nationally by CatholicTV. A delayed broadcast of the Ordination and Installation Mass will air nationally on EWTN beginning at 3 PM.

Pope Francis appointed Bishop-elect Schlert, 56, as Fifth Bishop of Allentown on June 27, 2017. A native of Easton, Bishop-elect Schlert has been a priest of the Diocese of Allentown since his ordination in 1987. He is the first priest ordained for the Diocese of Allentown to become Bishop of the Diocese.