Sister Peggy earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska, and later shared her innate artistic talents as chairman of the Creative Arts Department of St. Anthony High School, Wailuku. With a desire to help adults, Sister Peggy lived in Waimanalo Village and founded the school, Ola Hou, which means “rebirth, second chance,” to help school dropouts get back on the ladder of learning, and receive a high school diploma.
In 1991, Sister Peggy was assigned to Vanimo Diocese, Papua, New Guinea, with two other Sisters. They studied Melanesian Pidgin, the national language and settled in a remote, rural area, called Ossima. Sister Peggy started Our Lady of Peace Girls Learning Center, a vocational training center focused on preparing teenage village girls for marriage. Moreover, Sister Peggy’s vocational center was taken over by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, who were already working in the diocese of Vanimo. To her students Sister Peggy said, “My prayer is that I have made a difference in your lives. I know you have made a difference in mine.”
In 2000, Sister Peggy was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Community Monrovia, CA, sharing her art work in various ways. In May 2010, she joined the Western U.S. Region and lived in Cloquet, MN, Fond du Lac Reservation of the Ojibwa tribe, and participated in the Holy Family Mission Church there.
In 2012, Sister Peggy Dawson was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY, where she continues her artwork.