Sister Margaret (Peg) Sehlstedt

“Group work is one of the most effective ways today to express Gospel values. The religious groups in Japan, both Christian and non-Christian, are anxious to work together to promote world peace and justice.”

mselhstedt_lgSister Margaret (Peg) Selhstedt joined Maryknoll from Baltimore, MD in 1944. After earning her Bachelors in Education from Rogers College, she began a year’s study of Japanese at the Institute of Far Eastern Languages at Yale University to prepare for her assignment to Japan in 1951. She lived there for almost three decades.

Sister Margaret always wanted to go to Japan, and after a second year of language study, she fulfilled another wish to do pastoral work in both Kyoto and Muroran, Hokkaido, as well as other places. In an impoverished neighborhood in Kyoto, Sister Margaret worked at Hope House, a project of collaboration between the diocese and the city for helping people to find their own solutions to their problems. As an English instructor at Sophia University in Tokyo, she enjoyed friendships with the students as together they formed Christian community on campus.

On returning to the United States, Sister Margaret offered mission education as well as other congregational services at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and found time for peace and justice activities working with Clergy and Laity Concerned and as a member of Network in Washington, D.C.

She prepared for a new ministry with six months of clinical pastoral education. Sister Peg found her years as chaplain at Providence Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, equally satisfying as a missioner as were her years in Japan.

In 2012, Sister Maggie returned to life at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York.