Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies

Bishop Packard's Calendar

Bishop Packard's Biography

Bishop Packard's Biography
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Bishop George E. Packard

George Elden Packard was elected Fifth Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Services, Healthcare and Prison Ministries at a meeting of the House of Bishops in San Diego, California on September 28, 1999. He was consecrated on February 12, 2000 at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Washington, DC. Bishop Packard was born on February 23, 1944 in New Rochelle, New York. He was graduated from Hobart College, Geneva, New York in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He enlisted in the Army soon after college, where, as an infantry officer he served in Vietnam with the First Division. This time was marked by his receiving the Silver Star and two Bronze Stars for valor.

Upon release from active duty, Bishop Packard continued to serve in the Army Reserves while attending Virginia Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1974. In June of that year he was ordained a deacon, and in December he was ordained a priest. Virginia Theological Seminary conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity upon him on October 24, 2000. He served parishes in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia and for ten years at Grace Church, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, before becoming the Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of New York in 1989. He returned to the parish ministry in 1995, serving at the Church of the Epiphany, New York City and Christ's Church, Rye, New York.

Concurrent to his parochial and diocesan duties, Bishop Packard served as a chaplain in the Army Reserves, having made a branch transfer from the infantry after ordination. In this capacity he had a variety of assignments from chaplain to a hospital ward for communicable diseases, to a field hospital, to a deployed unit in Egypt. During the Gulf War, he was assigned to the Pentagon and later was decorated for his participation in a team for the pastoral care of casualties. In 1995 and again in 2000 Bishop Packard continued the efforts of his predecessor, Bishop Charles L. Keyser, by visiting Russia in the support of the new chaplaincy in the Russian military.

Since his consecration on 12 February 2000, Bishop Packard has traveled extensively to meet and greet chaplains throughout the world. This knowledge served him well when the tragedy of September 11th occurred. It meant that the “100 Days of Mission Support” declared by his office in response to the event could call on talent well-known and matched to the needs of the crisis. That “Support Mission” by his office included briefings to all clergy in the 13 dioceses directly affected by that terrible day, organizing and scheduling chaplains for the NYC site, liaison with the Pentagon effort, and providing solace and counseling to persons at the Church Center as well as general support to any other development.

Prior to the drama of September 11th, the bishop convened a leadership conference of senior military chaplains at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC followed six months later by a similar “Formative Symposium “ for healthcare professionals. He is quoted as saying that another true highlight during these two years was his first confirmation service at Angola Prison in Louisiana and eating Thanksgiving dinner at the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio.”

He is married to Brook Hedick, a musician and Christian educator and together they have one daughter, Clara. Bishop Packard has two daughters from a previous marriage: Helen, an associate editor for a church periodical and Cleary, a college student.

Bishop Packard was elected Fifth Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies for the National Episcopal Church in 1999. A native of New York State, he served in various churches in the Episcopal Diocese of New York prior to his election. As Bishop Suffragan, his home base is the National Episcopal Church Center in Manhattan, although he travels worldwide to meet with chaplains. For September 11th efforts, he and his office served as the liaison for relief work at Ground Zero. He and his family reside in Westchester County. For more info: check


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