Capitol Alert

New California Senate chaplain chosen

Incoming California Senate Chaplain, Sister Michelle Gorman.
Incoming California Senate Chaplain, Sister Michelle Gorman. Provided by the office of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.

Trading a local rabbi for a local nun, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has named Sister Michelle Gorman the new Senate chaplain.

Gorman will take over from Rabbi Mona Alfi, who served in the position since 2008. Gorman will offer prayers to start floor sessions and be available to lawmakers and staff seeking spiritual guidance.

The selection of Gorman reflects de León’s Catholic upbringing, continuing a trend: Alfi served under Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who is Jewish.

But while the faith has changed, a couple other factors remain constant: like her predecessor, Gorman is a woman and a Sacramento fixture. She is a member of the 157-year-old, Sacramento-based Sisters of Mercy and earned her undergraduate degree at California State University, Sacramento.

Born in Ireland, Gorman arrived in California in 1971. She will be the first nun to serve as Senate chaplain.

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said she had no plans to replace current Assembly chaplain Father Constantine Pappademos.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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