About Chaplain Mary Lahaj

A Brief Biography

As the first Muslim woman chaplain on staff at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Simmons College, and Groton school, Mary is a pioneer. She has written insightful articles of her experiences, published in op-eds, magazines, peer-reviewed journals, and conference proceedings. In her retirement from the chaplaincy profession, Mary volunteers as the chaplain on the Family Matters Committee at the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland, and as secretary of the Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC).

Mary’s family has been practicing Islam in America for more than 100 years. Her grandparents came from Lebanon at the turn of the twentieth century and helped found the oldest mosque in New England, the Islamic Center of New England (1964) in Quincy, MA. Her grandfather was the first Imam. Mary is also an award-winning proponent of interfaith dialogue and relations.

As an American and a respected member of the Greater Boston Muslim community for 30 years, Mary holds a privileged position. In the workshops and didactic seminars she offers, her unique perspective helps to increase understanding between professionals and their Muslim patients, clients, students, and employees. Mary’s expertise on Islam and Muslims empowers professionals in hospitals, medical schools, hospice care, international student directors, social workers, therapists, and teachers.

For example, students at Harvard Medical School invited Mary to address the importance of patient-centered care in a presentation on “Cultural Competency and the Muslim Patient.” She was also invited to teach at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, for nurses’ continuing education. To help bridge the gap, the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) invited Mary to speak at the ethics conference on the topic of the chaplain’s role in “end-of-life care.” Her speech was published in IMANA’s peer-reviewed journal. Please read the Chaplain Chapters in this blog.


4 thoughts on “About Chaplain Mary Lahaj

  1. Dorothy Mazeau

    Mary, I am so glad Deb Nicholls pointed us to your website. I had been wondering “what ever happened to Mary Hassan?” and am thrilled to learn the answer. God bless you!
    Dorothy (Allen) Mazeau



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