2018 Chaplains of the Year

Deacon Thomas Boldin

Deacon Tom Boldin of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese is this year’s recipient of the State Chaplain of the Year Award. A dairy farmer by trade, Deacon Tom first started to work at SCI - Rockview as the Farm Manager in 1991. After less than a month he knew it was not simply a job, but a calling.

Ordained a Deacon in the Altoona- Johnstown Diocese in 2004, Deacon Tom shifted roles at SCI -Rockview when he accepted the role of Chaplain for the institution. He has been serving as FCPD at Rockview since January 2007 and continues his work with dedication and humility.

Deacon Tom’s chaplaincy work revolves around building effective relationships and achieving harmonious results for all. Deacon Tom’s collaborative leadership style provides ways for those on their faith journey, both inmates and staff, to improve attitudes and social skills and to take responsibility for the struggles in their lives.

DT, as the inmates know him, is most passionate about the meaning of the title Deacon, which means “servant.” Each faith group at Rockview is ministered to equally. He serves his local church at Sunday masses, teaches confirmation classes and is a substitute religious education teacher. He has served on Centre County’s Community Youth Aid Panel for Balanced and Restorative Justice since its inception in 2004, being a monitor for juvenile offenders.

Deacon Tom feels that in Genesis 1:26 “God makes each of us stewards of His Creation” and for this reason, he has served on the Centre County Conservation Board for the last forty-eight years vehemently preserving God’s precious Creation for future generations.

It is truly an honor and blessing to thank Deacon Tom for his dedicated years of humble service and care.


Chaplain James L. Cavenaugh

James L. Cavenaugh is this year’s County Award recipient. Jim has served as a volunteer chaplain at Dauphin County Prison (DCP) since January 2005. Thereafter, he was invited by DCP Staff Chaplain Larry Coleman to be an intern chaplain as part of his field education for Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he received his MA in Religion in 2007.

Currently, Jim is the assigned chaplain for the women at the Dauphin County Work Release Center and for the men in the DCP medical and mental health blocks. He leads a Chapel Talk (group pastoral counseling) several times a month for men in those blocks.

He has organized and participated in workshops at both PPCA and ACCA-NE training conferences, both on the subject of “Chapel Talk: Group Pastoral Counseling.”

He has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries (which considers him a Lay Community Minister) since 2003 and served on its Board of Directors from 2004 to 2012.
He is co-chair of the Helping People in Prison lay-led ministry at his church, the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, where he is a life member and serves as Coordinator for the Lay Pastoral Care Associates.
From his many years of service and ministry, we are honored and blessed by the opportunity to recognize Jim!