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Rev. Chester P. Snyder

Deceased: 2023-05-15


Seminary Graduation Year: 1977

Reverend Chester P. Snyder fell asleep in the peace of Christ on May 15, 2023, at Misericordia Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, York. Father Snyder was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania to the late Chester and Kathryn (Whalen) Snyder on October 1, 1951. He attended the former Saint Joseph Elementary School and then Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School, Shamokin. After attending Seton Hall University, he entered the seminary for the Diocese of Harrisburg, attending Saint Pius X Seminary, Dalton and the Pontifical North American College, Vatican City, obtaining a theological degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

He was ordained a deacon in the chapel of the North American College on December 15, 1976 and ordained a priest on July 30, 1977 in his home parish by the Most Reverend Joseph T. Daley, sixth Bishop of Harrisburg.

Father Snyder served in a variety of capacities in parishes and ministries throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg: Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Lancaster; Chaplain of Trinity High School; Chaplain of Catholic Campus Ministry, Bloomsburg; Chaplain to the Carmelite Sisters in Elysburg; Director of Continuing Formation of Priests; and, as Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg from June 28, 1995 until his retirement from active ministry on June 18, 2012. In 2010 he was elected Diocesan Administrator Sede Vacante while the Diocese of Harrisburg was between bishops. Even in retirement, Father Snyder continued to serve generously as a priest assisting with Mass and hearing confessions throughout the area. He served as Administrator of Saint Margaret Mary Parish, Harrisburg from October 2018 until June 2019 and throughout his retirement served regularly at the Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick, Harrisburg where he became a beloved member of the parish family and exercised his skills as a gentle confessor, passionate preacher, and skilled teacher of the Faith.

Father Snyder avidly wrote articles, reflections, devotions, and published texts throughout his priesthood. His autobiographical masterwork A Sabbath Shared is a spiritual travelogue written while on sabbatical recounting the journeys he undertook following in the footsteps of Jesus, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul.

In addition to the many parishioners whose lives he impacted, Father Snyder leaves behind his sister, Susan Snyder, of Coal Township and his sister-in-law, Rosalie Snyder, of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; nieces and nephews who cherished him as their Uncle Chetter; and friends who will always treasure him as someone whose advice and company never grew tired.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop Emeritus and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Harrisburg, on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Saint Patrick Cathedral, 212 State Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A visitation will take place at the Cathedral from 10:00 AM until the celebration of Mass. Burial will take place at 2:00 PM at All Saints Cemetery, Elysburg.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Father Snyder’s memory to The Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Center, 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA 18612.

The Mass will be livestreamed on the Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick’s YouTube channel: