The National Conference Of Veterans Affairs Catholic Chaplains

Chaplain Alejandro De Jesus, PhD


Ordained: 1984

Assignment: Chief of Chaplain Service, San Francisco VA HCS

Chaplain De Jesus spent much of his religious and priestly life in the education sector, especially in his religious Order’s three University campuses in the Philippines. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX in 2007. Since 2011, he’s been engaged in the healthcare ministry, leading him to the VA ministry in Maine (2013-2016), Palo Alto (2017), San Antonio (2017-2021) and San Francisco (2021 – present). He brings to the leadership team reliable knowledge, responsible experience and steadfast passion in service of the Veteran population.

Chaplain James Connolly


Ordained: 1978

Assignment: Clinical Chaplain, Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC in Richmond, VA

" For the past nine years, Chaplain Connolly has been serving as a Clinical Chaplain (RC) on staff Veterans at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, VA." He completed his CPE Residency at the Hampton VAMC in 2011. He retired from 20 years of active duty as a US Navy Chaplain in 2010. Before that, he taught High School Religion classes for the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania for 11 years. He was ordained in 1978 in Allentown by Bishop Joseph McShea, after his theological studies at the Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, PA. Chaplain Connolly is a native of Nazareth, PA, born in May, 1952.”

Chaplain Patrick C. Fitzsimons


Ordained: 2001

Assignment: Clinical Chaplain, TVHS Nashville and York Campuses

Chaplain Fitzsimons spent the first fourteen years of his priestly life in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. Four of those years were spent as the Catholic Contract Chaplain at the Lexington VA. In 2014 began full time Chaplaincy work at the White River Junction VA in 2014 – 2015, Milwaukee VA 2015 – 2018, and Nashville VA 2018 to present. He has just completed his seventh year in full time service of our Veterans. Chaplain Fitzsimons is a native of Ireland.

Chaplain Thomas Kirchofer



Chaplain Charles Barnes


Ordained: 2008

Assignment: VA Puget Sound Healthcare System

Charles Barnes, SJ was ordained in 2008 and is a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) since 1997. He maintains a Board Certification through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC). Charles has a varied background in healthcare stretching over 40 years, working in diverse places such as the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. He has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO (1987), a Master’s degree in Health Care Ethics from Loyola University Chicago (2002), and a Master of Divinity from Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA (2008). In addition, he teaches Pastoral Crisis Intervention and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). His specialty areas are in trauma, crisis intervention and moral injury.

Chaplain Cosmas Archibong


Email: &
Ordained: 1988

Assignment: Priest Chaplain – VA Connecticut HCS

Fr. Cosmas Archibong, a native of Nigeria, received his Diploma in Philosophy at Bigard Memorial Seminary, Nigeria (1982) and a Bachelor's degree in Theology (1987). Later, he earned a Master's degrees in Theology and Applied Ethics from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He took his CPE program at the VAMC East Tennessee in 1999. He worked at Mercy General Health Partners in Muskegon, MI (2000-2003), then Austin, TX (2003-2009). Since 2009, Fr. Archibong has been serving the Connecticut VA Healthcare System as a Catholic Chaplain. A Board Certified Chaplain with the NCVACC/NACC, he likewise holds a Ph.D. in Pastoral Psychology and Counseling from the Graduate Theological Foundation, IN. He hopes to help in whatever capacity he can to move the system forward.

Chaplain Stephen Brandow


Ordained: 1996

Assignment: Chaplain, Alexandria VA Health Care System

Chaplain Stephen Brandow has worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs, beginning in Medical Information Service, since 1986. From 1987-91 he served in the Medical Administration with responsibilities on scheduling and admissions. He was ordained in 1996 after completing his studies at the Notre Dame Seminary (1991-96). He worked as Associate Pastor at Saint Rita Catholic Church in 1996, then in the fall of the same year and upon his Bishop’s request, started to serve as contract chaplain at the Alexandria VA Health Care System while in residence at Central Louisiana State Hospital. He accepted the offer for a full-time position in 2000 and has since worked in each area of the facility except in the community based clinics. Currently, he’s assigned in the units for SUDS, PTSD, MH and Ambulatory Care. His areas of interest are Logotherapy, Mindfulness and Moral Injury.