As ordination nears, Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders says experience enriched his faith

May 9, 2024 at 3:47 p.m.
Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders receives the Book of the Gospels during the diaconate ordination rite May 2023.  Jeff Bruno photo
Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders receives the Book of the Gospels during the diaconate ordination rite May 2023. Jeff Bruno photo

By EMMALEE ITALIA
Contributing Editor

The path to the priesthood was not a straight road for Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders, but he hopes to be able to share what he has learned.

“I like to think that I have matured in my faith as I have learned more, both in the classroom and in my experience of life,” he reflected. “The most important thing that I have learned and would like to share is the great love that God has for each and every one of us; his mercy truly endures forever.”

He will be ordained a priest June 1. His vesting priest for ordination to the priesthood will be Father Brian Woodrow, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Brick.

“I felt a call to share with others all of the good things that God had shared with me,” Rev. Mr. Meinders explained, “first in teaching the faith and later in celebrating the Sacraments. I was blessed with many good examples — my parents, numerous priests and religious.”

Finding His Way

Born to Richard and LuAnne Meinders in 1984, in Lindenwold, Rev. Mr. Meinders has one brother, Christopher; his home parish is St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown. He attended Ocean Day School, Lakewood Prep and Lakewood High School, graduating in 2003.


Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders

He pursued studies in political science and psychology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, but in 2005 took a break from academics. Rev. Mr. Meinders’ interest in poker led him to become a professional poker player, taking part in the World Series of Poker in 2012. He also coached Lincroft’s Christian Brothers Academy chess team to several Shore Conference and State titles, as well as the 12th grade national championship in 2018.


He returned in 2018 to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2020, and a master of divinity degree in 2023, achieving summa cum laude distinction for both. He is completing a master’s degree in moral theology.

Prepared to Lead

Rev. Mr. Meinders has served summer ministry assignments at St. Pius X, Broomall, Pa.; with the Little Sisters of the Poor at Holy Family Home, Philadelphia; St. John the Evangelist, Morrisville, Pa.; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; and St. John the Baptist, Allentown. Following ordination to the diaconate last year, he served as deacon at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish.

Throughout his varied experience, Rev. Mr. Meinders has developed a special place in his heart for teaching, particularly Catholic youth.

“I have very much enjoyed working in parish schools and with a homeschooling co-op,” he said. “Working with kids helps me to keep seeing the world in new ways; the questions they ask and the wonder they have about things are a joy.”

He also has appreciated being able to spend time with those who attend daily Mass, saying, “I am edified by the faithfulness of laypeople who begin each day with the Lord in that beautiful way.”

At ordination Father Brian Woodrow, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, will vest Rev. Mr. Meinders; he will be assigned to St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.

His priesthood, he hopes, will be one of making the Lord present to his people in a variety of ways, “from preaching the Gospel to helping build up a community, and especially celebrating the Sacraments.”


Following ordination to the diaconate in May 2023, Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders pauses for a photo with his parents, Richard and LuAnne Meinders. Courtesy photo

 



The path to the priesthood was not a straight road for Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders, but he hopes to be able to share what he has learned.

“I like to think that I have matured in my faith as I have learned more, both in the classroom and in my experience of life,” he reflected. “The most important thing that I have learned and would like to share is the great love that God has for each and every one of us; his mercy truly endures forever.”

He will be ordained a priest June 1. His vesting priest for ordination to the priesthood will be Father Brian Woodrow, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, Brick.

“I felt a call to share with others all of the good things that God had shared with me,” Rev. Mr. Meinders explained, “first in teaching the faith and later in celebrating the Sacraments. I was blessed with many good examples — my parents, numerous priests and religious.”

Finding His Way

Born to Richard and LuAnne Meinders in 1984, in Lindenwold, Rev. Mr. Meinders has one brother, Christopher; his home parish is St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown. He attended Ocean Day School, Lakewood Prep and Lakewood High School, graduating in 2003.


Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders

He pursued studies in political science and psychology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, but in 2005 took a break from academics. Rev. Mr. Meinders’ interest in poker led him to become a professional poker player, taking part in the World Series of Poker in 2012. He also coached Lincroft’s Christian Brothers Academy chess team to several Shore Conference and State titles, as well as the 12th grade national championship in 2018.


He returned in 2018 to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2020, and a master of divinity degree in 2023, achieving summa cum laude distinction for both. He is completing a master’s degree in moral theology.

Prepared to Lead

Rev. Mr. Meinders has served summer ministry assignments at St. Pius X, Broomall, Pa.; with the Little Sisters of the Poor at Holy Family Home, Philadelphia; St. John the Evangelist, Morrisville, Pa.; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; and St. John the Baptist, Allentown. Following ordination to the diaconate last year, he served as deacon at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish.

Throughout his varied experience, Rev. Mr. Meinders has developed a special place in his heart for teaching, particularly Catholic youth.

“I have very much enjoyed working in parish schools and with a homeschooling co-op,” he said. “Working with kids helps me to keep seeing the world in new ways; the questions they ask and the wonder they have about things are a joy.”

He also has appreciated being able to spend time with those who attend daily Mass, saying, “I am edified by the faithfulness of laypeople who begin each day with the Lord in that beautiful way.”

At ordination Father Brian Woodrow, pastor of St. Dominic Parish, will vest Rev. Mr. Meinders; he will be assigned to St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.

His priesthood, he hopes, will be one of making the Lord present to his people in a variety of ways, “from preaching the Gospel to helping build up a community, and especially celebrating the Sacraments.”


Following ordination to the diaconate in May 2023, Rev. Mr. Brian Meinders pauses for a photo with his parents, Richard and LuAnne Meinders. Courtesy photo

 


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