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New Bishop Named to Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown

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ALLENTOWN — The Vatican has named a new head to the Diocese of Allentown.

Pope Francis has named Msgr. Alfred A. Schlert, administrator of the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, as the diocese’s new bishop.

Bishop-elect Schlert succeeds Bishop John O. Barres, who was transferred in December to serve as bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

The appointment was announced in Washington June 27 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

A native of Easton, Bishop-elect Schlert, 55, has held several administrative positions in the Allentown Diocese. He became vicar general of the diocese in 1998. For two years, from 2008 to 2010, he also was pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in Hellertown.

The bishop-elect was ordained in 1987 and holds a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University. After ordination, his ministry included assignments as assistant pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Allentown; professor at Notre Dame High School in Easton, his alma mater; and Catholic chaplain at Lehigh University in Bethlehem. He served as vice chancellor and secretary to the bishop before becoming vicar general.

The Diocese of Allentown serves Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill Counties.

Bishop-elect Schlert’s ordination and installation will be held on Thursday, August 31 at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown.



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