Sister Peg's Message of Hope to Catholics

By Christy Gutowski
Chicago Tribune
March 3, 2014

Thousands of pages of church files released recently in Chicago provided an unprecedented look at how archdiocese leaders for decades failed to protect children. The records detail 40 years of misconduct by 30 former priests from 1956 to 1996.

Amid stories of despair, the name of a Catholic sister emerged again and again as a persistent voice for the victims.

Sister Margaret “Peg” Ivers warned leaders about as many as five priests. She first sounded the alarm in the 1970s, when it was unheard of for a member of a women’s religious order – or anyone else for that matter - to challenge the church’s institutional power.

Records did not reveal what had happened to this outspoken sister, so the Tribune set out to find Sister Peg.

The search led to a convent in the West suburbs. But finding her was just one hurdle. She’d never spoken publicly of her struggles to be heard.  

Sister Peg eventually agreed to talk about her experience, with the hope it may do some good. Her story, as told in Sunday’s Tribune (read it now at, includes her message of hope to Catholics whose faith may have been shaken by the abuse crisis.

Despite the darkness revealed in the files, she insists there were many heroes and heroines who found ways – perhaps more quietly than she – to protect children, and says she prays people never give up on God or the church she loves.

-Christy Gutowski,reporter














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