WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday nominated Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben as the new House chaplain, a trail-blazing figure who will be the first woman to hold the role.
Kibben, a Bronze Star recipient, will replace Father Pat Conroy who has served in the ceremonial role since 2011.
“Kibben brings decades of decorated experience in the military and the ministry, as a retired Rear Admiral who served as the U.S. Navy’s Chief Chaplain and the chaplain of the Marine Corps,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Her integrity, experience and patriotism will serve the Congress and the Country well, as she ministers to the needs of Members.”
The duties of the Chaplain of the US House of Representatives include opening House sessions with prayer, providing pastoral support to lawmakers, their staff, and their families, and presiding over religious ceremonies such as funerals for current or past members of Congress.
Kibben, a Presbyterian minister who earned her Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary, first entered active duty in the US Navy in 1986 before deploying to Turkey, Norway, and Afghanistan where she was the senior chaplain.
Prior to this assignment, Kibben served as the Chaplain of the Marine Corps and the Chief Chaplain of the US Navy — the first woman to hold these roles.
Pelosi thanked Father Pat Conroy for his spiritual leadership.
“His service has been a spiritual and moral anchor for Members, grounding our institution in the values of faith and country and reminding our Members of our responsibilities to our great nation and constituents,” she said.
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