Praises sung for prison chap­lain

Rev­erend Doris Ha­ley re­ceives ci­ta­tion from Chester County com­mis­sion­ers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

WEST CHESTER >> A dear friend of the Rev­erend Doris Ha­ley put it this way, speak­ing of the essence of her char­ac­ter dur­ing a re­cent Chester County com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing at which her 40 years of ser­vice to the needy in the county was praised.

“Doris has only one di­rec­tion to go and that is for­ward,” said Toby Gel­man, who works with Ha­ley in her post as chap­lain of the Lions Club in Chester and Berks coun­ties. “If you see Doris com­ing to­wards you it is for one of two rea­sons: To ask you to help her do some­thing, or to of­fer to help.”

Ha­ley, who dis­closed her age at a pre­co­cious 39 years — “Don’t be putting that old age on me!” she ex­claimed — was hon­ored by the com­mis­sion­ers with a ci­ta­tion for “her un­selfish ded­i­ca­tion that has changed the lives of so many Chester County cit­i­zens, young and old.”

Ha­ley works as chap­lain at the county’s Po­cop­son Home for el­derly res­i­dents, the Chester County Prison, the Chester County Youth Cen­ter for delin­quent ju­ve­niles, as well as a mul­ti­tude of com­mu­nity-based or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Lions Club and the Chester County Fam­ily Academy.”

Of­fi­cials from Po­cop­son, the prison, and the Youth Cen­ter all ap­peared at the com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing Tues­day to sing her praises.

“We have the priv­i­lege of work­ing with Doris Ha­ley each and ev­ery day at Po­cop­son, full-time,” said Jacqueline McKenna, the fa­cil­ity’s ad­min­is­tra­tor. ”She is just an in­cred­i­ble woman. Her en­ergy is con­ta­gious, it is bound­less.”

Dee Stadt­miller, an ac­tiv­i­ties di­rec­tor of Po­cop­son, said she had worked with Ha­ley for 25 years and “watched her spread her gen­eros­ity, faith and good cheer to the res­i­dents, and staff, of Po­cop­son Home, and well as the com­mu­nity” many times in a mu­si­cal fash­ion.

“Ev­ery­where you go you can hear Doris play­ing and singing to her hearts con­tent,” she said. “She makes a lot of peo­ple very happy with her mu­sic.”

In her role as chap­lain, Ha­ley has per­formed memo­rial ser­vices and wed­dings at the home, for both res­i­dents and staff, and dur­ing the hol­i­days loads up a truck full of food and gifts to bring to those in need. “She is an amaz­ing woman, and an as­set to the com­mu­nity,” Stadt­miller said.

War­den Ed­ward McFad­den thanked Ha­ley for her years of ded­i­ca­tion, and was fol­lowed on the ros­ter of cel­e­brants by Gary Blair from the Youth Cen­ter who called her “a saint.”

“Doris has been will­ing to come in and share her life ex­pe­ri­ence and her hurts,” Blair said. “That has res­onated not only with our res­i­dents but our staff as well. We’ve been blessed.”

For her part, Ha­ley said her heart was “over­whelmed” by the trib­utes. “My mother must be stand­ing at the por­tals of glory, smil­ing down on me,” she said,

Com­ing from hum­ble cir­cum­stances, one of seven chil­dren, Ha­ley said the lessons of char­ity had been passed to her by her mother at an early age. “She taught us that if we didn’t have any­thing but a pot of beans with a lit­tle fat­back, she taught us how to share. Not to wait for a per­son to ask for help, but if we knew that per­son was in need to go forth and help.”

The ci­ta­tions, signed by com­mis­sion­ers Ter­ence Far­rell, Kathi Coz­zone, and Michelle Kich­line, rec­og­nized Ha­ley for ded­i­cat­ing her life “to those on the fringe of so­ci­ety,” de­tail­ing the many ways in which she has served those in need through­out the county.

“She is just an in­cred­i­ble woman. Her en­ergy is con­ta­gious, it is bound­less.” — Jacqueline McKenna, the fa­cil­ity’s ad­min­is­tra­tor

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Rev­erend Doris Ha­ley, cen­ter, was given a ci­ta­tion by the Chester County com­mis­sion­ers rec­og­niz­ing her for ded­i­cat­ing her life to help­ing those on the fringe of so­ci­ety.

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