Seminarian to Take Final Step Toward Priesthood

Seminarian Robert Rienzo will take the final step toward the Priesthood in the Diocese of Allentown when he is ordained a Transitional Deacon on Saturday, May 18.

Everyone is invited to attend the 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown, as Bishop Alfred Schlert administers the Sacrament of Holy Orders in the presence of Rienzo’s friends, family, and fellow seminarians, as well as consecrated religious, deacons, and priests.

Transitional Deacons are “transitional” because they typically spend only one year in ministry before they are ordained priests. This differs from Permanent Deacons, men who are not in priestly formation and who are ordained to serve in long-term assignments in parishes.

Rienzo, 32, of Macungie, is a graduate of St. Thomas More Elementary School and Emmaus High School. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. and earned his Master’s Degree through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program.

Rienzo taught science and religion in middle schools in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia for three years before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia in 2017.

It was during his time at Notre Dame when he first heard the call to become a priest. “There are young priests all around the campus,” he said, “and they were role models for me. I noticed and was attracted to the joy that they have as priests.”

In addition to his academic and theology studies, Rienzo also has served rotational assignments during his formation at John Paul II Center for Special Learning, Shillington; St. John the Baptist Parish, Pottsville; St. Anne Parish, Bethlehem; Holy Guardian Angels Parish, Reading; St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Reading; Holy Infancy Parish, Bethlehem; and Bethlehem Catholic High School.

He is the youngest of four children and is a son of Dr. Robert J. Rienzo and Dr. Catherine E. Rienzo. He is a member of St. Thomas More Parish, Allentown.


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