Sister Peggy Dawson

Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY

Sister Peggy of Elma, WA, joined Maryknoll in 1946.  She is a gifted artist and most recently illustrated Elephant Joan and the Cell Phone, a children’s book by Sister Elizabeth Roach, MM.  After entering Maryknoll Sister Peggy graduated from Maryknoll Teachers College in 1952 and served ten years in teaching in elementary schools.  In 1962 she was assigned to Hawaii, where she spent twenty-nine years teaching minority groups and those experiencing poverty.

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.