Transitional deacon to be ordained, attendance to be restricted by pandemic

     Diocese of Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert will ordain an Allentown man a transitional deacon in ceremonies at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena in Allentown on Saturday, May 16th at 10:30 AM. A transitional deacon is one step from being ordained a priest.

     Philip J. Maas, 29, is the son of James and Sandra Maas of Center Valley. Born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, Maas was educated in Allentown Diocese Catholic Schools. He attended St. Michael the Archangel School in Colesville and graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School in 2009.

      He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and worked for Lucent Electronics as an electrical engineer prior to entering the seminary.

      Maas is a member of the Cathedral parish and has been preparing for the priesthood at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary near Philadelphia.

     The current social distancing and gathering restrictions in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus will make this a very unique ordination. The congregation will be made up only of members of Maas’ immediate family and a handful of priests. The ordination will be livestreamed by the Diocese and will be accessible on

     Father Christopher Butera, Diocese Director of Seminarian Formation said, “Philip has responded to the limitation of guests with humility and understanding, acknowledging this is what is asked and needed of him at this time in our history.”

    As a transitional deacon, Maas will spend the next year sharing God’s word, bringing Viaticum to the dying, assisting at funerals, assisting with and blessing marriages, baptizing, instructing people in the faith, and performing works of charity before being ordained a priest. 

     Maas said, “I am grateful to God, the seminary, my Diocese and my family for guiding me to this next milestone in my vocation. I joyfully look forward to being ordained a deacon as I continue to pursue a call to the priesthood.”