Margaret Brennan, IHM

Margaret R. Brennan, IHM, a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan, has gained renown as an outstanding theologian, educator, and leader.

Born and raised in Detroit, she completed undergraduate studies at Marygrove College in 1945 before entering her congregation. She went on for a doctorate in theology from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and when she finished in 1953, she was among the first women religious in the United States to hold such a degree.

At a young age, she was appointed novice mistress and was active in the Sister Formation Conference. After serving in this capacity for 10 years, she was elected general superior in 1966, a position she held until 1976. She distinguished herself as a leader in the renewal of religious life with her intense interest in the emerging documents of the Second Vatican Council and her ability to envision new understandings of the church and religious life. A leader among leaders, she played an active role in LCWR, and was elected to serve as its president from 1971-1972, a critical period in the conference’s history.

Following her years in congregation leadership, she accepted an appointment as professor of pastoral theology at Regis College at the Toronto School of Theology, becoming the first woman professor to serve at Regis College. During her 25 years there, she became one of the institution’s most distinguished, celebrated, and well-honored faculty members. The recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, she has published extensively, including her 2009 memoir, What Was There for Me Once.

Margaret now resides at the IHM motherhouse in Monroe and continues to share her wisdom and experience as a presenter and consultant to religious congregations and various church organizations.