16 Men Admitted into Candidacy for Permanent Diaconate

Sixteen men were admitted into candidacy for Holy Orders during the celebration of Solemn Vespers on March 10. The rite, performed by Bishop Alfred Schlert at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown, welcomes men into formation for the Permanent Diaconate. Families of the men were in attendance at the joyful celebration.

Bishop Schlert made it a point to address the families present directly. “The work that [the candidates] are undertaking, and of course the work that is already happening for them, is also a sacrifice for each and every one of the family members,” said Bishop Schlert. “So, I am very grateful for your ‘yes.’”

The 16 men admitted are: Joseph R. Bailey, James T. Clee, Eric S. Collado, Keith J. Davis, Christopher P. Hartman, Theodore A. Kochen, Michael J. Kowalick, Joseph P. Matus, Vincent P. McDevitt, Wilfred Melendez, Glenn L. Mummey II, Gregory P. Myers, Patrick J. Neher, Edward O. Short, Linson Tomy, and Thanh D. Tran.

Upon being called to present themselves as candidates, Bishop Schlert questioned all the men as part of the ritual. Each man was asked about his desire to complete the preparations necessary to assume the ministry in 2028 when the formation is completed. Additionally, all men were asked to prepare themselves in mind, body, and spirit to serve the Church, specifically in the Diocese of Allentown.

“I want to express my gratitude to the men who have been called to candidacy for the Order of Deacon,” said Bishop Schlert. “This is a public act that you have now declared your desire to seek and strive to conform yourself more closely to Christ as you prepare yourself for the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the diaconate order.”

In addition to the families – priests and permanent deacons – as well as other men in different stages of formation for the permanent diaconate, participated in the praying of the solemn vespers with the candidates. These different members of the Church were integral in preparing the Ceremony, but also the men seeking the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

“This is a day for us to thank God. This is an essential step in the pathway to Holy Orders,” said Bishop Schlert concluding the service. “I am so grateful that the Lord has brought these men to us today.”

Photos by Norm Steinruck.


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