Pennsylvania Society of Chaplains

About Us

The objectives of the Society of Chaplains include continuing education, mutual support, as well as a forum for the broad range of issues facing chaplaincy today. The purposes of the society are:

  • To exchange and disseminate information concerning chaplaincy services in healthcare and other settings
  • To promote the growth and recognition of spiritual care in healthcare settings
  • To advocate professional standards, development and practice of chaplaincy services and spiritual care
  • To promote cooperation and maintain communication with nationally recognized chaplaincy organizations
  • To advocate for greater inclusion in the healthcare system and to address ethical concerns in healthcare settings
  • Professional development
  • Education opportunities/CEUs
  • Discount on Society sponsored events during the membership year
  • Quarterly newsletter
  • Job opening announcements by email
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Spiritual nurture and renewal
  • Society website
  • Membership directory
  • Collegiality and networking
  • Special mailings/emails of interest to chaplains

Membership provides the opportunity to network with chaplains from diverse faith backgrounds and institutions.  All persons involved in ministries and related to chaplain settings are welcome – lay and clergy, part-time, full-time, and volunteer. 

In addition to education and networking, members enjoy the friendliness and healing spirit that is always a part of Society gatherings.
  • Active: Entitles the member to full privileges, including voting and access to all areas within the PSC website.
  • Emeritus: Takes the place of "Retired." Same privileges as "Active" above.
  • Student: Engaged in course of study leading to future work in the field. Full access to all areas of website but no voting privileges.
  • Friends of the Society: New category for those who meet all criteria of full membership but who do not wish to keep current with their annual dues, yet desire correspondence with the Society. No voting privileges and not entitled to full access to all areas within the website. Will be kept informed of events. May become active at any time.

Joel Hummel
Joel Hummel
Director of Pastoral Care
Homewood at Plum Creek
Hanover, PA

John Fureman
Past President
John Fureman
Lebanon, PA

M. Elizabeth Lawn
Membership Chair
M. Elizabeth Lawn
White Horse Village CCRC
Newtown Square, PA

Shari Hofstetter
Shari Hofstetter
Staff Chaplain
St Mary Medical Center
Blue Bell, PA

James J. Castello
Program Chair
James J. Castello
Retired Chaplain
Kennett Square, PA

Marianne C. Sailus
Publications Editor
Marianne C. Sailus
Chaplain/Coordinator of Pastoral Care
Allied Services/Heinz Rehab Hospital
Wilkes-Barre Township, PA

Dorothy Shelly
Event Facility Liaison
Dorothy Shelly
Telford, PA

Program Chair-Elect
Douglas Graham
Peter Becker Community
Lansdale, PA

Bob. Glasgow
Bangor, PA

Donrico E. Colden
Retired, Pinnacle Health System/Harrisburg Hospital
Harrisburg, PA

Following is a rough map of the geographic area of the Society of Chaplains.  Regions have been established to provide fellowship, support, and continuing education for chaplains closer to home.  This helps us maintain connections without the expense of time and cost of a conference.  The region boundaries are fluid.  Any chaplain is welcome to attend events in any or all regions.  Due to large geographic areas there may be more than one location in a region to hold an event.

PA Society of Chaplains Regions

If you would like to host an event, please contact your region representative through our contact page.

Eastern Region:  This region covers the eastern and southeastern portion of Pennsylvania from Philadelphia, to Allentown, to Wilkes-Barre.   Meetings most recently have taken place in the Allentown area, but plans are in the works to provide new locations, to include Philadelphia.

Representative Eastern:
Richard Conant, Chaplain
At Home Hospice & Care

Central Region:  This area covers the central portion of Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, York, Harrisburg and north.   Two meetings with an education program are held in winter and spring at Country Meadows Home Office in Hershey, PA.

Representative Central:
Joel Hummel, Chaplain
Homewood @ Plum Creek
Hanover, PA

Northwest Region:  This geographic area is the northwest quadrant of Pennsylvania and covers a lot of our forested land.  Chaplains from Kane, DuBois, State College and surrounding areas gather on a regular basis for support, conversation and sharing ideas.

David PfliegerRepresentative Northwest:
David H. Pflieger, Chaplain
Lutheran Home
Kane, PA

Southwest Region:  This region covers the southwest quadrant of Pennsylvania, including Pittsburg, Washington and surrounding areas.

Cletus HullRepresentative Southwest:
Cletus Hull, III, Chaplain
Torrence State Hospital
Torrance, PA

Maryland Region:  Chaplains in western Maryland, especially surrounding Hagerstown have formed a membership region.

Richard BowerRepresentative Maryland:
Richard W. Bower, Director, Pastoral Care
Western Maryland Hospital Center
Hagerstown, MD

The Society of Chaplains of the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) began with an organization meeting May 25, 1976 in Atlantic City, NJ.  Charter members signed the constitution and bylaws at that time and officers were chosen.  The Rev. Dr. Richard B. McCune of Harrisburg Hospital was the first president.  Members were all pastoral care givers in hospitals that were members of HAP and the Society of Chaplains joined a group of other Societies that represented different professional disciplines in member hospitals.

In 2002 HAP disbanded their member societies so the PA Society of Chaplains, Inc. was created to continue the organization.  

In the beginning, a primary purpose was to provide information regarding chaplaincy and promote the growth of pastoral care in healthcare facilities.  A packet of brochures “In consideration of the Hospital Chaplaincy” was produced and included why a chaplain, reimbursement, types of services, community and program development.

Newsletters as well as meetings have provided a way to maintain contact.

In order to reach out and attract new chaplains, regions were established fairly soon after the society was organized in 1976. This provided a way for chaplains (members and non members) to gather for education and support without the cost and distance of the state events.  Today there are 5 regions, loosely defined by geography, and including western Maryland.

Meetings of the Society took place in the fall at the annual Fall Hospital Conference sponsored by HAP.  The conference covered several days and provided an opportunity for chaplains to attend seminars sponsored by the Society and other disciplines, as well as hearing keynote speakers for the conference.  One of the nice aspects of this time was the interdisciplinary conversations and relationships that were built.

The first spring retreat was held in 1980 at Villa Maria Retreat Center in Wernersville, PA.  This started a tradition that continues today though the site has changed.  For a time we gathered in Allenbury, PA on the grounds of the playhouse.  Concerns regarding accessibility brought us to Halifax and now to the Bongiorno Conference Center in Carlisle, PA today.

In 1994 we joined with the eastern region of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Association of Professional Chaplains to provide a 3 day Fall Conference.  For the next 8-10 years this event was held at hotel conference centers in Harrisburg or nearby Grantville, PA.   A NACC reorganization ended our joint venture, so the Society decided to continue this event at the site of our spring conference.

Both fall and spring gatherings have provided renewal of spirit and mind, continuing education credit, fellowship and worship.  Topics have included theology, ethics, spiritual and personal renewal, leadership, program development and pastoral care skills led by experts in their fields as well as our own members.

The Thomas W. Jackson Innovation in Chaplaincy Award was presented to recognize programs of excellence or to honor a particular chaplain who has excelled in her/his work over time.  Recipients include Daniel Kratz, Myron Ebersole, Samuel Bourne, Sr. T. J. Gaines, and James Murr.  The last awards were made in 1999 to David Baker and Sandra L. Morris.

PA Society of Chaplains Conference








The Pennsylvania Society of Chaplains, Inc. is a registered,
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