Join the NCVACC...

Our Mission

We advocate for and support our members’ journey
towards professionalization of service and ministry to the Veterans
as ordained ministers of the Catholic Church,
endorsed by the Archdiocese of Military Series, USA.


On the fortieth anniversary of chaplaincy in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 1985, the National Conference of Veterans Affairs Catholic Chaplains (NCVACC) was established. It was preceded a year before by a survey where over fifty Catholic chaplains in the VA expressed a desire to form a professional organization that would address their unique needs. The first set of officers were subsequently elected in February 1985.


Catholic Chaplains desiring to work in the VA need the prior endorsement of the Archbishop for Military Services, USA (AMS). The AMS, through the Episcopal Vicar for Veterans Affairs, gives the priestly faculties to Catholic chaplains approved for employment at the VA

Our Leadership

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.

The By Laws, Article II (2022) states the objectives of the NCVACC as follows:

 • Provide mutual support for members working in the Chaplaincy Service of the VA.
• Provide a forum for the training, study and development of all phases of VA pastoral care.
• Assist members acquire certificates of proficiency as the bylaws may allow.
• Serve as the corporate body for VA Catholic chaplains to contact and communicate with the National Episcopal Advisor, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A. and other agencies for the support and benefit of the members.

What is NCVACC according to Bishop Coffey...

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Chaplain Charles Barnes,


Chaplain Thomas Kirchofer,

Chaplain Cosmas Archibong, At-Large

Email: &
Ordained: 1988

Assignment: Assignment: Priest Chaplain – VA Connecticut HCS

Chaplain 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 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, At-Large