Bishop Schlert presided at the Rite of Election and at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown. The afternoon ceremony, celebrated in English and Spanish, formally acknowledged the readiness of 80 catechumens – those preparing for the sacraments of initiation – to seek full communion with the Catholic Church.
“I encourage our volunteers to see Christ in every person that they assist,” said Fran Gallagher, president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Notre Dame Parish, Bethlehem. The society is a worldwide volunteer organization of the Catholic Church.
Read more about this year’s honorees, Monsignor Joseph Smith, pastor emeritus of St. Catharine of Siena, Reading and John and Alice Freeh, parishioners of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Hellertown.
Bishop of Allentown Alfred Schlert thanked supporters for assisting Catholic Charities in providing vital services for more than 20,000 individuals and families last year throughout Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.
Bishop Alfred Schlert issued this statement about the shootings at mosques in New Zealand: “Places of worship should be sanctuaries, where those at prayer feel safe. An attack on one religious community is an attack on every faithful person in the world. The Catholic community in the Diocese of Allentown joins in prayer with the Muslim community, and with all people of good will, to overcome hatred and disregard for human life.”
The Diocese of Allentown has recommitted itself to raising awareness of the destructive effects of pornography, as well as offering resources for prevention and healing, through the formation of the “Lumen Christi Commission.”
In an interview, the new Secretary for Youth Protection and Catholic Human Services talks about her plans and priorities as she works to strengthen programs to prevent abuse and keep children safe.
In her role as Director of Religious Education for St. Anne parish and school in Bethlehem, she takes students on regular trips to feed the hungry at the Catholic Charities soup kitchen in Allentown.