Immaculata News

Sister Peggy McDonald, IHM, S.T.L., S.T.D.

Sister Peggy McDonald, IHM, S.T.L., S.T.D.

Title: Professor Emerita of Theology

Department: Theology and Philosophy

Office: Faculty Center 6

Phone: (610) 647-4400 Ext: 3010

Education:Doctorate and Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Systematics (S.T.D., S.T.L.), Catholic University of America
M.A. in Religious Studies, St. Charles Seminary
B.A. in English, Immaculata College


Sister Peggy has over 25 years of successful classroom teaching experience. She is also an experienced presenter at adult faith formation programs, workshops, conferences, and retreats. She was profiled in a previous issue of Immaculata Magazine.

Teaching Philosophy

It is an awesome privilege to invite students to reflect more deeply about God, themselves and the world around them. I strive to demonstrate the integral connection between academic theology and spirituality. I am always challenging myself, asking myself how I can contribute to the ongoing growth and development of my students in their own search for God, for meaning and purpose.

I assure my students that wherever they are on their search, their life journey, whatever religious tradition they have grown up in—or perhaps none at all—they are always invited to think about spiritual realities and to be open to how these realities speak to them. Maybe they won’t speak to them right now, but, as their lives unfold, and they are confronted with new challenges, these reflections on God and things related to God, may take on a greater depth of meaning.

I continue in an ongoing way to develop and enhance all courses I teach. I have continued to revise strategies aimed at stimulating more student participation in class discussions and maximizing students’ learning experience. I continue to search for new audio-visual materials that fit thematically with course material to enhance students’ learning experience. In my efforts to achieve the above goals, I am continually working to breathe new life into the curriculum for each course.

Courses Taught

THE 109:  Introduction To Theology

THE 222: Faith Alive: Catholic Beliefs and Practices

THE 311: Exploring the Gospels

THE 317: Catholic Social Teaching

THE 381: Foundations of Spiritual Freedom

THE 206:  Exploring God and Self Through Prayer

THE 211: Christology


Book Review of the book “Embracing the Spirit Within: Inspirational Stories and Reflections,”  E.V. Elder in Spirituality, Dominican Publications, (September/October 2013 Issue).

“Listen and Ponder: Catholic Beliefs and Practices,”  Immaculata Magazine, Fall 2013.  Collaborated with Ellen Dooley in an interview and writing of the article.

“A Wise Guide for the Journey,”  Immaculata Magazine,  Summer 2013. Collaborated with Ellen Dooley in an interview and writing of the article.

America Magazine – Contributions to America’s Blog “In All Things” 

  • “Hildegard of Bingen:  Ever Ancient, Ever New”  (7/3/12)
  • “St. Ignatius of Loyola and Karl Rahner, SJ: A World of Grace”  (7/30/12)
  • “LCWR:  Praise for the Process”  (8/14/12
  • “Renewed in Their Newness”    (9/19/12)
  • “Dorothy Day: A Necessary Saint for Our Time”  (11/26/12)

“The 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible,”  Immaculata Magazine, Summer 2011.

“There’s Something About Mary: Teacher, Model, and Guide in Contemplating the Face of Christ,” (Part 1) in Spirituality, Dominican Publications, (May/June, 2010).

“There’s Something About Mary: Teacher, Model, and Guide in Deepening our Response to Suffering,” (Part 2) in Spirituality, Dominican Publications, (July/August, 2010).

“God in the ‘Stuff’ of Everyday Life” in Spirituality, Dominican Publications, (May/June, 2008).

Book Review of “Mere Catholicism” by Ian Ker, in American Catholic Studies: Journal of the American Catholic Historical Society, (Spring, 2008).

“‘All I Can Say Is that I Knew God’: Karl Rahner and the Spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola” in Spiritual Life: A Journal of Contemporary Spirituality, Carmelite Publications (Summer 2007)

“A Spirituality of Liberation: Reflections on a Postconciliar Contribution to the Christian Spiritual Tradition” in Spirituality, Dominican Publications, (March/April 2006).

“A Spirituality of Liberation: Key Components and Importance for Today,” in Spirituality, Dominican Publications (May/June 2006).

“Teresa of Avila’s Insights on the ‘Our Father’ in ‘The Way of Perfection,’” in Spiritual Life: A Journal of Contemporary Spirituality, Carmelite Publications (Fall 2006).

“Saint Alphonsus Liguori,.” in Spirituality, Dominican Publications, (July/August, 2006).


  • Presentation for the Adult Faith Formation Program at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Parish in Greenville, Delaware on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The presentation was entitled “Saints for Our Times: St. Therese of Lisieux and Dorothy Day: Models and Mentors for our Spiritual Journey.
  • Lenten Evening of Reflection talk entitled “Nurturing Awareness of God in our Everyday Lives” at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Springfield, Delaware County, PA on March 21, 2012.
  • Served as a mentor for the Church Ministry Institute of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, mentoring adult students who were in their first year of participation in the Church Ministry Institute in Spring semester 2012. Mentoring is a structured piece of the Church Ministry Institute and, as mentor, I met throughout the semester with the Year 1 students to help them reflect on the courses they had taken and how the knowledge and insight gleaned from their courses impacted their personal lives and spiritual journeys, as well as the various ministries they were involved in.
  • Retreat Day for the Archdiocesan Church Ministry Institute at the IHM Spirituality Center, held April 2, 2011. Gave two presentations, “The Call to Holiness” and “The Call to Prayer,” highlighted in the bishops’ document “Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium.”
  • Lenten Afternoon/Evening Retreat for the Norbertine Community at Daylesford Abbey, held Sunday, March 13th, 2011. The Retreat was focused on the theme of  “Contemplation”  and “Sharing the fruits of our Contemplation in our Ministry.”
  • Taught a 6-week course entitled “Foundations of Faith”  for the Church Ministry Institute of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (September 8-October 13th,  2011).
  • Twilight Retreat for the faculty of Our Lady of Confidence School, held on April 7, 2010. at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, PA. The theme of the faculty retreat was “Awakening to the God of our Everyday Lives.”
  • Taught a 12-hour course entitled “Hildegard of Bingen: Mystic and Prophet”  (June 21-24, 2010) in Immaculata University’s Summer Spirituality Days Program.
  • Parish Presentation on “The Life of St. Maximilian Kolbe and his special devotion to Mary, Mother of God” at Visitation B.V.M. Parish, Trooper, PA, on August 12, 2009.
  • IHM Ongoing Formation Afternoon of Reflection held on Saturday, February 28, 2009, at Villa Maria House of Studies. Gave two presentations focused on the IHM’s Chapter 2006 “Contemplative Stance.” One presentation focused on Psalm 46:10 (“Be Still and Know That I Am God). The second presentation focused on Micah 6:8 (“Act Justly, Love Tenderly, and Walk Humbly with Your God”).
  • Faculty Workshop, held Friday, January 30th, 2009  St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr, PA. Gave a presentation on  “Catholic Social Teaching and Its Importance for Today.”
  • Keynote speaker at the “Annual Father/Daughter Evening of Reflection” held on Sunday, June 8, 2008, at Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
  • Los Angeles Religious Education Congress held on the weekend of March 2-4, 2007 at the
  • Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim,  California. Gave two presentations, one entitled “The Our Father: Ever Ancient, Ever New” and the other entitled: “There’s Something About Mary: Our Model, Teacher, Guide for Contemplating the Face of Christ.”
  • “Spirituality Under the Dome,” held March 17, 2007, at Immaculata, PA. Gave presentation entitled: “In God, We Live and Move and Have our Being: Discovering God in the Stuff of Everyday Life.”
  • Weekend Retreat at Loyola Retreat House in Faulkner, Maryland, held June 29-July 1, 2007 on the theme of “Deepening the Contemplative Dimensions of Our Lives.”

Professional Memberships

CTSA – Catholic Theological Society of America

CTS – College Theology Society


Doctoral dissertation topic: Christian Life and Liberation: The Basis for a Christian Spirituality in the Thought of Gustavo Gutiérrez
Licentiate in Sacred Theology Thesis Topic: The Linkage Between Christian Spirituality and Social Praxis in Leonardo Boff

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