Georgetown to add Hindu chaplaincy this fall
This fall, Georgetown will add to its extensive on-campus chaplain community, the largest in the entire country, with its first ever Hindu chaplain. Pratima Dharm, a Hindu chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Army, will arrive on campus on October 1.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry Kevin O’Brien, S.J., announced Dharm’s decision to come to campus via email yesterday. O’Brien connected Dharm’s chaplaincy to Georgetown’s long tradition of diverse chaplains, dating back to the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council in the 60s. Georgetown was the first Catholic university to have a rabbi and an imam serve as full-time chaplains.
According to O’Brien, Dharm is the first female chaplain of Indian descent and the first Hindu chaplain in the U.S. Army.
“Over the years, she earned the esteem of her colleagues and, among other accolades, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for organizing and leading numerous humanitarian aid missions for the Kurdish people in Iraq,” O’Brien wrote. “Before joining the army, Chaplain Dharm served as a teacher, counselor, and social worker in a variety of settings.”
Dharm will retire from military service this fall and starts at Georgetown on October 1.