Sr. Peggy Martin, OP

Dear Representatives and Major Superiors:

Sister Peggy Ann Martin, OP, Executive Vice President of Sponsorship and Governance, a guiding light in the formation of both CommonSpirit Health and Catholic Health Initiatives, has decided to start the next chapter of her life and retire at the end of June 2020. Lloyd Dean and I are honored to have served alongside Sr. Peggy and have learned much from her about our sacred scriptures, canon law, and diplomacy. Please join us in celebration of her indelible legacy.

A true visionary, Sr. Peggy was a member of the steering committee that founded Catholic Health Initiatives in 1996. She was instrumental in uniting four healthcare systems under Catholic Health Care Federation, the public juridic person first developed by Catholic Health Corporation in Omaha. A public juridic person allows an entity to operate within canon law similar to how public corporations operate within civil law. She helped define how to honor the Church, healthcare, and law in fulfilling the mission of our founding congregations.

After earning her licentiate in canon law, she joined CHI in 2000 serving as our Senior Vice President for Sponsorship and Governance, where she helped navigate complex issues while operating as a public juridic person, such as merging with other religious and non-religious entities. She also helped provide governance of the CHI Board of Stewardship Trustees throughout many years, and through the most recent merger of CHI and Dignity Health into CommonSpirit.  Her guidance helped CHI grow into the communities we serve today.

Beyond her work with CommonSpirit and CHI, Sr. Peggy was instrumental in 2009 when the Dominicans of Great Bend, Kansas, became one of seven founding members of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. With other representatives of the founding congregations, Sr. Peggy helped develop the constitutions for this new religious institution, fluently weaving together canon law and the Dominican Sisters of Peace’s unique vision and mission. She has served on the faculty of the Collaborative Formation Program for Sponsors of Public Juridic Persons, where she has helped inform and shape the future of Catholic sponsorship nationally.

Sr. Peggy has a strong reputation for her ability to explain canon law to religious and lay leaders across industries and geographies. This is a testament to her early professional training and ministries in education. In March 2014, she was invited to speak to a symposium of financial officers of religious institutions in Rome, convened by Pope Francis. There, she helped hundreds of participants understand how their religious operations can best serve humanity with her presentation, “Public Juridic Persons: Advantages and Challenges.”

In 2015, Sr. Peggy received the prestigious Sr. Concilia Moran Award from the Catholic Health Association, one of the highest honors bestowed upon leaders in Catholic healthcare. She was recognized for her commitment to stewarding resources and knowledge to improve and expand Catholic healthcare. Her work and advocacy of public juridic persons has helped institutions care for the poor and vulnerable, defend human dignity, and promote the common good.

Mitch Melfi, Chief Legal Officer, will assume Sr. Peggy’s responsibilities and Sponsorship and Governance will begin reporting directly to him at the end of June.

Sr. Peggy’s passion and dedication is truly inspirational. While we will miss her wisdom, leadership and good company, we are sure that her legacy will live on in all we do. Please join me in thanking Sr. Peggy for all she has done for CommonSpirit, CHI and Catholic healthcare. Her spirit has helped define us and will surely thrive in her next endeavors.


Kevin E. Lofton, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
CommonSpirit Health

Posted in News

10 responses to “

  1. Peggy, I am so proud of all you have done for Health Care, for our Church, and for our Congregation. I am so glad you are going to have time to enjoy all the things you have wanted to do for years! Peace!

  2. Thank you, Peggy, for your amazing service to Catholic Healthcare and to our Community these many years! You have been such a blessing, and have placed yourself on the line many times. I pray your time of renewal will be a great blessing too!

  3. Kevin,
    Thank you for summarizing Sr. Peggy’s incredible legacy and ministries. M.Melfi will have big shoes to fill!

  4. What a powerful review of your holy service to Health Care in our fast and changing world and when I finished reading this tribute I also celebrate your tireless effort and great leadership over the many years. Thank You. May your future be filled with new hopes and goodness.

  5. Dear Peggy
    What an inspiratiion you have .been and are.
    You are truly a light of christ!!
    Your influence has been farreaching!!
    It. S another step up for women!!!

    Sr Cathleen Ryan ‘ll
    Dominican sisters of Peace

  6. Peggy, you certainly have been a real gift to the entire Catholic Heath System. I am in awe of all of your accomplishments and the sweat and blood that goes along with work like that. I am sending my gratitude and prayers and I do hope you are going to take a long time to regenerate. Love and prayers, Anita

  7. Peggy,
    I am sure they will miss your spirit there. Thank you for sharing it with me! I’m so glad we’re going to have you here in Denver for awhile.

  8. What a tribute to you, Peggy, for your outstanding ministry in Health Care! You’ve done a fantastic job and now may you be guided by the Spirit as your future unfolds, Peace.

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