All are invited to join in a Holy Hour Friday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. on the eve of Deacon Philip Maas’s Ordination to the Priesthood.
Bishop Alfred Schlert will preside at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown. The faithful are invited to join in person or view via livestream on AD Today.
The Holy Hour will include the singing of Solemn Vespers.
“This is one of many upcoming Eucharistic Holy Hours around the Diocese during this Year of the Real Presence to pray for vocations to the Priesthood in our local Church as we ask God to bless our newly ordained priest and to fortify and protect him with a love for Jesus’ presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament,” said Father Mark Searles, recently appointed as Director of Vocations.
Monsignor David James, Vicar General and 25-year Jubilarian, will preach at the Holy Hour.
Also at the Holy Hour, Bishop Schlert will consecrate the paten and chalice to be used by Deacon Maas after his Ordination.
The chalice originally was crafted by the former Schofield Company of Baltimore. Maas received it as a gift from the family of Monsignor Raymond F. Merman, a former priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and later of the Diocese of Allentown, after Monsignor Merman’s death in 2017.
Deacon Maas had come to know Monsignor Merman’s family while assigned on an apostolate at Holy Family Villa, Bethlehem, where Monsignor Merman was in failing health.
In a recent letter to the faithful, Bishop Schlert noted that the Diocese now has fewer active diocesan priests than ever in its 60-year history, and asked the faithful to pray for vocations.
“In this Year of the Real Presence, I ask you to go frequently before the Most Blessed Sacrament, Christ really present in the Holy Eucharist, and beg Him to send generous young men to answer the call to the Priesthood,” Bishop Schlert wrote.
“This is the task of each one of us: to encourage a generous response to a vocation in the hearts of our young men and their parents. Before the Most Blessed Sacrament, seek to identify a young man in your parish and tell him you see in him a potential vocation. Encourage parents to be generously supportive of a son who expresses a desire to enter the seminary. Pray for our current seminarians that they continue to discern and deepen their call to the priestly vocation,” Bishop Schlert wrote.
The Lord of the Harvest will bless us abundantly, but we must do our part to cultivate a culture of vocation awareness and response in our families, parishes, schools and religious education programs. As we celebrate 60 years as a Diocese, we can be certain of Our Lord’s continued rich blessings. The greatest blessing will be a flourishing of priestly vocations for future generations in our five counties.