Bishop ordains two ‘good men’ to sacred priesthood

June 2, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.
Father Wynne Kerridge, fourth from left, and Father Brian Meinders, second from right, pose for their first photo as new priests with Bishop O'Connell following their June 1 Mass of Ordination. Also pictured are, from left, Rev. Mr. Alan Bridges, a transitional deacon who is expected to be ordained a priest next May; Msgr. Joseph Roldan, Cathedral rector, and Msgr. Thomas Mullelly, diocesan vicar for clergy and consecrated life and director of seminarians. At right is Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, diocesan vicar general. Mike Ehrmann photo
Father Wynne Kerridge, fourth from left, and Father Brian Meinders, second from right, pose for their first photo as new priests with Bishop O'Connell following their June 1 Mass of Ordination. Also pictured are, from left, Rev. Mr. Alan Bridges, a transitional deacon who is expected to be ordained a priest next May; Msgr. Joseph Roldan, Cathedral rector, and Msgr. Thomas Mullelly, diocesan vicar for clergy and consecrated life and director of seminarians. At right is Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, diocesan vicar general. Mike Ehrmann photo

By MARY STADNYK
Associate Editor

Updated June 3, 2024

Against the backdrop of the Diocese’s three-day experience with the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage that engaged thousands of the faithful, Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., said the coming together for the Ordination of two men to the priesthood was a “holy purpose directly related to and consequential for the Eucharist.”

Before a congregation of loved ones and well wishers, Bishop O'Connell ordained Father Wynne Kerridge and Father Brian Meinders to the priesthood during a June 1 Mass in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2024 Ordination of Priests

PHOTO GALLERY: Father Kerridge's First Mass

PHOTO GALLERY: Father Meinder's First Mass

Joining Bishop O’Connell in the sanctuary were about 50 priest concelebrants, including representatives of the seminaries where the men from the Trenton Diocese prepare for the priesthood. Msgr. Michael Magee serves on the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., where Father Meinders attended, and Father Pablo Gadenz, a priest of the Trenton Diocese and faculty member in Mount St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where Father Kerridge attended.

Leading the moving and joy-filled Rite of Ordination, Bishop O’Connell exhorted the two candidates to be “men of God, prayer, the Church, the Diocese . . . men who seek to be holy and inspire holiness; faithful to your calling; joyful; close to your people and your brother priests and be kind, understanding and merciful.

“Let the people of God see Christ the Good Shepherd in your eyes, in your hands, in your heart, in the witness of your entire lives,” the Bishop said. “Be good at what you do and do good.”

A Priest Forever

During the Rite of Ordination, Rev. Messrs. Kerridge and Meinders came before Bishop O'Connell who announced that they had been chosen for the Order of Priesthood. Msgr. Thomas Mullelly, episcopal vicar of clergy and consecrated life, called the candidates forth.

Each candidate told the Bishop he came willingly and faithfully to the priesthood and then each promised his obedience to the authority of the Church. They then prostrated themselves on the floor before the altar as the Diocesan Festival Choir led in singing the Litany of the Saints in which all prayed for the intercession of the saints.

The two candidates were then ordained by Bishop O'Connell through the laying of his hands on their heads and his silent prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit upon each. One by one, the concelebrants then laid their hands on the heads of the ordinands, signifying their sharing in one priesthood.

The new priests, assisted by a chosen brother priest, were vested in the stole and chasuble – the vestments of a priest for the celebration of Mass. Father Kerridge’s vesting priest was Father Rick Osborn, parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Red Bank, and Father Meinders was vested by Father Brian Woodrow, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Brick.

After receiving their priestly vestments, the two knelt again before Bishop O'Connell as he anointed their palms and wrapped them with a linen cloth. Bishop O'Connell presented each man with a paten and chalice which would hold the Body and Blood of Christ in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Each of the concelebrants then filed past their new brothers, extending a sign of peace in the form of an embrace. Following that, the new priests joined Bishop O'Connell at the altar for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist for the first time.

The newly ordained offered their first blessings as priests to Bishop O'Connell at the end of the Mass.

That Special Moment

Both Father Kerridge and Father Meinders described what they felt was most meaningful about the Mass.

For Father Meinders it was standing at the altar for the first time as a priest and concelebrating the Mass with Bishop O’Connell. “I’ve been in the pews for 39 years and then for the past year as a deacon, I’ve been able to assist with Mass in a new way,” Father Meinders said. “Now I can fully help bring the Sacraments – Jesus’ Presence – to people.

“It’s such a blessing,” he said. “My whole life led me to this point. It’s beyond description.”

Father Meinders’ first assignment as a new priest will be as parochial vicar of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.

Along with the Consecration, Father Kerridge said he was moved by the singing of the Litany of Saints.

“As I heard their names, I pictured how they all, in some way, had impacted my life,” he said. Father Kerridge has been appointed  parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Red Bank.

Blessings Bestowed

Well wishers signaled their love and appreciation for the chosen vocation of the newly ordained with applause as the Rite of Ordination concluded.

After Mass, the two priests returned to the front of the Cathedral to greet and bestow blessings on family members, brother priests and friends.

Father Jonah Brox was thankful for the timing of Father Meinders’ Ordination day. If  it had been a week ago, “I couldn’t be here,” he said with a smile. “I was at my own Ordination. I was ordained last Saturday.”

Father Brox, of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, said in the four years he came to know Father Meinders in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, he’s witnessed that “Brian has a pastor’s heart, the heart of a priest. He truly cares about people, he’s very gifted and I know he’s excited to serve Our Lord as a priest,” he said.

Chip Meinders admitted that his son has a natural gift for relating well with people, although for the longest time he thought Brian would make for a good college professor.

“I wasn’t thinking the priesthood, but here he is today, a priest,” Meinders said. “Today was a wonderful celebration.”

Deb Flego, faculty member at Red Bank Catholic High School, was among a group of parishioners from St. James Parish, Red Bank, who attended the Ordination in support of Father Kerridge.  He will serve his first assignment as  parochial vicar in St. James Parish.

“It’s really special to see someone so young give their life to God and with such joy,” she said. “And today to watch Father Wynne at the altar during the Consecration for the first time, just gave me the goosebumps.”

“Today we saw a wonderful part of God’s plan for Wynne’s life unfold,” said Father Kerridge’s mother, Lisa Sinak. “As we talked with friends who had traveled from Virginia and who have known Wynne since he was a preschooler, we were able to recount so many steps, starting even back then that the Lord has placed along the way to prepare him for this day and the ones to come.”

Sinak added that during Holy Week, she had watched the livestream of the diocesan Chrism Mass from her home in Texas and “it was so meaningful to see Bishop O’Connell anoint the hands of the two new priests with the same oil, consecrating their hands in service.

“We are so grateful to the many parishioners who came from St James in Red Bank,” Sinak said. “We know that with their prayers and the brother priests of the Diocese of Trenton, Wynne will be in good hands.”





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Updated June 3, 2024

Against the backdrop of the Diocese’s three-day experience with the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage that engaged thousands of the faithful, Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., said the coming together for the Ordination of two men to the priesthood was a “holy purpose directly related to and consequential for the Eucharist.”

Before a congregation of loved ones and well wishers, Bishop O'Connell ordained Father Wynne Kerridge and Father Brian Meinders to the priesthood during a June 1 Mass in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2024 Ordination of Priests

PHOTO GALLERY: Father Kerridge's First Mass

PHOTO GALLERY: Father Meinder's First Mass

Joining Bishop O’Connell in the sanctuary were about 50 priest concelebrants, including representatives of the seminaries where the men from the Trenton Diocese prepare for the priesthood. Msgr. Michael Magee serves on the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., where Father Meinders attended, and Father Pablo Gadenz, a priest of the Trenton Diocese and faculty member in Mount St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where Father Kerridge attended.

Leading the moving and joy-filled Rite of Ordination, Bishop O’Connell exhorted the two candidates to be “men of God, prayer, the Church, the Diocese . . . men who seek to be holy and inspire holiness; faithful to your calling; joyful; close to your people and your brother priests and be kind, understanding and merciful.

“Let the people of God see Christ the Good Shepherd in your eyes, in your hands, in your heart, in the witness of your entire lives,” the Bishop said. “Be good at what you do and do good.”

A Priest Forever

During the Rite of Ordination, Rev. Messrs. Kerridge and Meinders came before Bishop O'Connell who announced that they had been chosen for the Order of Priesthood. Msgr. Thomas Mullelly, episcopal vicar of clergy and consecrated life, called the candidates forth.

Each candidate told the Bishop he came willingly and faithfully to the priesthood and then each promised his obedience to the authority of the Church. They then prostrated themselves on the floor before the altar as the Diocesan Festival Choir led in singing the Litany of the Saints in which all prayed for the intercession of the saints.

The two candidates were then ordained by Bishop O'Connell through the laying of his hands on their heads and his silent prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit upon each. One by one, the concelebrants then laid their hands on the heads of the ordinands, signifying their sharing in one priesthood.

The new priests, assisted by a chosen brother priest, were vested in the stole and chasuble – the vestments of a priest for the celebration of Mass. Father Kerridge’s vesting priest was Father Rick Osborn, parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Red Bank, and Father Meinders was vested by Father Brian Woodrow, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Brick.

After receiving their priestly vestments, the two knelt again before Bishop O'Connell as he anointed their palms and wrapped them with a linen cloth. Bishop O'Connell presented each man with a paten and chalice which would hold the Body and Blood of Christ in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Each of the concelebrants then filed past their new brothers, extending a sign of peace in the form of an embrace. Following that, the new priests joined Bishop O'Connell at the altar for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist for the first time.

The newly ordained offered their first blessings as priests to Bishop O'Connell at the end of the Mass.

That Special Moment

Both Father Kerridge and Father Meinders described what they felt was most meaningful about the Mass.

For Father Meinders it was standing at the altar for the first time as a priest and concelebrating the Mass with Bishop O’Connell. “I’ve been in the pews for 39 years and then for the past year as a deacon, I’ve been able to assist with Mass in a new way,” Father Meinders said. “Now I can fully help bring the Sacraments – Jesus’ Presence – to people.

“It’s such a blessing,” he said. “My whole life led me to this point. It’s beyond description.”

Father Meinders’ first assignment as a new priest will be as parochial vicar of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.

Along with the Consecration, Father Kerridge said he was moved by the singing of the Litany of Saints.

“As I heard their names, I pictured how they all, in some way, had impacted my life,” he said. Father Kerridge has been appointed  parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Red Bank.

Blessings Bestowed

Well wishers signaled their love and appreciation for the chosen vocation of the newly ordained with applause as the Rite of Ordination concluded.

After Mass, the two priests returned to the front of the Cathedral to greet and bestow blessings on family members, brother priests and friends.

Father Jonah Brox was thankful for the timing of Father Meinders’ Ordination day. If  it had been a week ago, “I couldn’t be here,” he said with a smile. “I was at my own Ordination. I was ordained last Saturday.”

Father Brox, of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, said in the four years he came to know Father Meinders in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, he’s witnessed that “Brian has a pastor’s heart, the heart of a priest. He truly cares about people, he’s very gifted and I know he’s excited to serve Our Lord as a priest,” he said.

Chip Meinders admitted that his son has a natural gift for relating well with people, although for the longest time he thought Brian would make for a good college professor.

“I wasn’t thinking the priesthood, but here he is today, a priest,” Meinders said. “Today was a wonderful celebration.”

Deb Flego, faculty member at Red Bank Catholic High School, was among a group of parishioners from St. James Parish, Red Bank, who attended the Ordination in support of Father Kerridge.  He will serve his first assignment as  parochial vicar in St. James Parish.

“It’s really special to see someone so young give their life to God and with such joy,” she said. “And today to watch Father Wynne at the altar during the Consecration for the first time, just gave me the goosebumps.”

“Today we saw a wonderful part of God’s plan for Wynne’s life unfold,” said Father Kerridge’s mother, Lisa Sinak. “As we talked with friends who had traveled from Virginia and who have known Wynne since he was a preschooler, we were able to recount so many steps, starting even back then that the Lord has placed along the way to prepare him for this day and the ones to come.”

Sinak added that during Holy Week, she had watched the livestream of the diocesan Chrism Mass from her home in Texas and “it was so meaningful to see Bishop O’Connell anoint the hands of the two new priests with the same oil, consecrating their hands in service.

“We are so grateful to the many parishioners who came from St James in Red Bank,” Sinak said. “We know that with their prayers and the brother priests of the Diocese of Trenton, Wynne will be in good hands.”




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