Nancy Pelosi names first woman as US House of Representatives chaplain

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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.

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, chief of chaplains, speaks at the 2015 Women's History Symposium aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, March 26, 2015. The symposium was held to discuss the role and achievements of women in the military and U.S. Depa

Margaret Grun Kibben

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110822-M-NK962-038WASHINGTON (Aug. 22, 2011) Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, chaplain of the Marine Corps, delivers the invocation before the start of an honors parade for members of the 2011 Brigadier General Select Orientation Course at Marine Barracks Wash

110822-M-NK962-038WASHINGTON (Aug. 22, 2011) Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, chaplain of the Marine Corps, delivers the invocation before the start of an honors parade for members of the 2011 Brigadier General Select Orientation Course at Marine Barracks Wash

Margaret Grun Kibben in 2011.

Alamy Stock Photo

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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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