The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has appointed a priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Reverend Monsignor Alfred A. Schlert, as the Fifth Bishop of Allentown.

Bishop-elect Schlert is the first priest of the Diocese to be appointed to serve as its Bishop. He has been serving as the Diocesan Administrator since his election by the Diocesan College of Consultors on February 1, 2017 following the January 31 installation of his predecessor Most Reverend John Barres as the Bishop of Rockville Centre, NY.

Bishop-elect Schlert was born to Alfred and Marylou (DeRose) Schlert in Easton on July 24, 1961, just six months after the Diocese of Allentown was formed. He was educated at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Elementary School and Notre Dame High School, both in Easton. He prepared for the Priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary near Philadelphia and the Pontifical Roman Seminary and St. John Lateran University in Rome. Most Reverend Thomas J. Welsh ordained him a priest at the Cathedral of Saint Catherine of Siena in Allentown on September 19, 1987.

He served as an assistant pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Allentown, as a professor at his alma mater Notre Dame High School and as the Catholic chaplain at Lehigh University. During his years at Notre Dame he resided at St. Anthony of Padua Church and St. Bernard Church in Easton and at Sacred Heart Church in Bath. He completed graduate work at Pontifical North American College and Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1992.

He was named Vice Chancellor and Secretary to Bishop Welsh in 1997 before being named Vicar General, of the Diocese by Most Reverend Edward P. Cullen in 1998. As Vicar General he has overseen coordination of all administrative offices of the Diocese and assisted Bishop Cullen and Most Reverend John O. Barres in the governance of the Diocese. From 1998 to 2008 he was in residence at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena in Allentown.

Pope St. John Paul II named him a Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of Monsignor in 1999. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Prelate of Honor, the second highest rank of Monsignor in 2005.

While still serving as Vicar General he was pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church, Hellertown from July 2008 until February 2010 when he resumed full time service as Vicar General and residence at St. Theresa’s.

Bishop-elect Schlert’s Ordination and Installation will be held on Thursday, August 31at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena in Allentown.

Bishop-elect Schert will hold a news conference at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena at 11 o’clock THIS morning. The news conference will be streamed live on the Diocesan Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/DioceseofAllentown.

Contact: Matt Kerr