Five New Priests to be Ordained for the Diocese – Largest Number in More Than 20 Years

Five new priests for the Diocese of Allentown will be ordained by Bishop Alfred Schlert on Saturday, June 1 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown.

The Mass and Rite of Ordination will be the final step in a long journey of preparation for the five men, who will join the Priesthood in the presence of their families and friends, priests of the Diocese, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful.

It’s the largest number of men to be ordained as priests of the Diocese in more than 20 years, and dramatic evidence that prayers for vocations are answered by God.

“We are blessed to be ordaining five new priests to serve the people of our Diocese,” said Bishop Schlert. “I urge everyone to continue to pray for vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life, and to encourage young men and women – and their parents – to be open to God’s call.”

“These five men are a vibrant representation of the Diocese of Allentown from multiple cultures and backgrounds who have come to lay down their lives in service to the people of God,” said Father Mark Searles, Director of Vocations for the Diocese. “We are especially blessed by not only a large ordination class but a high caliber of good Catholic gentlemen who will be humble, holy, and courageous fathers to lead our parish families.”

Those set to be ordained are:

Nikolai R. Brelinsky

Rev. Mr. Nikolai Brelinsky looks forward to celebrating Masses of Thanksgiving in the various parishes across the Diocese that have made a positive impact on his vocational journey.

“The joy which God has given me truly will make these occasions of celebration in every sense of the word,” he said.

Brelinsky, 27, is originally from North Carolina. He is the second oldest of eight children. He was homeschooled during his high school years, a time when his close contact with our faith made it easier, he said, to answer the Lord’s call to the Priesthood.

He is a member of Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, and is a son of Gregory and Tara Brelinsky.

Keaton C. Eidle

“From the time I was a kid I wanted to celebrate the Mass,” said Rev. Mr. Keaton Eidle. “So, I’m very blessed that after all these years the desire that God placed in my heart as a child is finally coming to fruition.

“God has been leading me toward the Priesthood my whole life,” he said. “I'm excited to be on the verge of fully entering into that call.”

Eidle, 26, is one of 14 children, and credits his homeschooling environment, and the strong example of devoted prayerfulness set by his parents, Rob and Andrea Eidle, for his decision to become a priest. His younger brother Kolbe also is a seminarian. They are parishioners of St. Ignatius Loyola, Sinking Spring.

Van-Vien Nguyen

“As I walk this priestly journey,” said Rev. Mr. Van-Vien Nguyen, “my constant refrain is, ‘Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.’”

“This commitment is the cornerstone of my vocation,” he said, “the guiding star to salvation, for myself and for the multitude of souls God has called me to shepherd.”

Nguyen, 31, entered the seminary in Vietnam and was on a study-abroad assignment in the United States when he asked the Archbishop of Hanoi in Vietnam for permission to serve the Diocese of Allentown. To make his name easier for Americans, he took a nickname – J.V. – which comes from Joseph, his baptismal name, and Van-Vien, his first name.

Nguyen is one of six children, and a son of Nguyen Van Vinh and Tran Thi Xuyen. He is a member of the Cathedral Parish of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown.

Miguel M. Ramirez

“What I am looking toward most as a priest is to serve the needs of the people,” said Rev. Mr. Miguel Ramirez, 30. “I want to bring Christ to all who want to encounter Him.”

Ramirez has known he wanted to be a priest since he was a little boy in Mexico. “I remember being at Mass when I was about 10, and the priest elevated the Host. I felt something in my heart, like a fire. It was then that the Lord planted the seed for my vocation,” he said.

He is a member of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Reading and is the son of Miguel Ramirez and Odelina Espinoza.

Aaron R. Scheidel

Rev. Mr. Aaron Scheidel, 26, of St. Benedict Parish, Mohnton, said he is most excited “to be able to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to hear confessions.”

Looking back on his eight years of seminary preparation, he said, “Now I am looking forward to being able to live out the vocation that has been so long in the making.”

One of five children, he was homeschooled and is a son of Rebecca and Adam Scheidel. Earlier in life, he had one of the more unusual summer jobs among the men set to be ordained: he worked for several summers for an Amish construction company.

The Mass and Rite of Ordination will be live-streamed on AD Today and on our Facebook page.


Mass Livestream