Mary Margaret Pazdan, O.P. AquinasMary Margaret Pazdan, O.P., Ph.D.

Mary Margaret Pazdan, OP
Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies


  • Ph.D., University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, 1982
  • M.A. Providence College, 1972

As a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa, WI, I taught in several of our schools. Whether it was encouraging students to dramatize Paul’s life on land and sea (junior high students) or exploring the Jesus of the gospels (undergraduates), I loved teaching Scripture. During my study years in Toronto, I also taught a few Scripture classes at the University and enjoyed facilitating adult bible classes with retired women doctors who had been missionaries among the poor in Africa. Being an associate tour leader with Menachem Mansoor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for the Lands of the Bible Seminar in Turkey and Israel/Palestine, gave me a love for the people and the land. When I was at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, I learned another type of interpretation where Jewish and Christian Scholars studied about the possibilities of using “covenant” for dialogue.

When I came to Aquinas Institute in 1985, I expected to teach Scripture courses to graduate students. I never imagined that we would create a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degree. Since 1993, I developed a passion for biblical hermeneutics, how to interpret scripture to nourish the minds and hearts of the people of God. I encourage students to learn many lenses of interpretation that deepen and expand a biblical text for twenty-first century appropriation. I also bring biblical hermeneutics to courses about healing for Health Care Mission as well as master’s level courses in the gospels. I invite students to become disciples and to savor scripture as a life-line for on-going formation and education with others. Students and colleagues stretch and bless my Dominican vocation as teacher, preacher, writer and builder of communities.

I am the Promoter of Preaching for my Dominican congregation. In the past decade I have been involved with many members of the Dominican family in seminars, conferences and annual meetings. Participating in the renewal of preaching for women’s congregations is an invigorating, challenging and wonderful adventure.
In my ministry of the Word, I also facilitate days of prayer and retreats, including the Academy for Spiritual Formation for lay and ordained persons of several Christian denominations.
Professional Affiliations

  •  The Catholic Biblical Association of America
  •  Academy of Homiletics
  •  Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics

Selected Presentations

  • “The Fourth Gospel and Women” Presentation and Retreat Day for Women, Church of the Resurrection, Solon OH, March 20 and 22, 2014.
  • “New Testament Spirituality: Attentiveness to the Word.” Academy for Spiritual Formation, Burlingame, CA, August 18-23, 2013.
  • “Living as the Body of Christ.” Annual Retreat for the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. Sinsinawa, WI, January 27—February 1, 2013.
  •  Co-Presenter for US Dominican Promoters of Preaching on Preaching in the Sunday Assembly: A Pastoral Commentary on Fulfilled in Your Hearing. Columbus, Ohio, June 13-15, 2011.
  • “Meals and Hospitality in Luke.” Invited paper for Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology, 2010 fall conference, St Louis, MO, September 25, 2010.
  • “Paul and Reconciliation.” Day of Prayer for First Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, February 28, 2009.
  • “Preaching and Grace.” Roman Catholic Presenter for Lutheran/Anglican/Roman Catholic Conference. Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center, Huttonsville, WV, May 21-23, 2007.
  • “Hermeneutics and Homiletics: Partners in the Dance.” Invited paper for the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association Meeting, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, August 6, 2006.

Selected Publications

  • “Roman Catholic Women and Preaching the Word of God.” The Preacher 156 (April 2015).
  •  “Sunday 19 October 2014. What is Your Opinion?” The Preacher 155 (October 2014). Homily.
  •  “Called, Cleansed and Sent.” Give Us This Day: Daily Prayer Book for Today’s Catholic 4 no.7 (July 2014).
  •  “Being Missionary Disciples.” Dominican Vision. Spring 2014.
  • “The Dominicans: A Family of Preachers” The Preacher 157 (April 2011). 
  • “Peter and Paul: Witness of the Word Yesterday and Today” The Preacher 157 (April 2010). Homily.
  • Collaborator and writer (CATH) for Preaching in the Sunday Assembly: A Pastoral Commentary on Fulfilled in Your Hearing, ed. James Wallace. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.
  • “Behind Every Apostle . . .” Liguorian 97, no. 7 (September 2009): 19-21.
  • “Luke-Acts.” NIB New Interpreter's Handbook of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 2008.
  • “Passion Narratives.” NIB New Interpreter's Handbook of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 2008.
  • Becoming God’s Beloved in the Company of Friends: A Spirituality of the Fourth Gospel. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2007.
  • “The Holy Spirit and Preachers: Companions on the Journey.” The Preacher 125 (April 2007).
  • “Biblical Criticism in the World of the Preacher.” Preach: Enlivening the Pastoral Art. (January/February 2006): 27-30, D7.
  • Dominican Praise. Chicago: Liturgical Training Press, 2005. Collaborator and translator of New Testament texts.
  • “Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Biblical Interpreters: ‘I Call You Friends’ (John 15:15).” New Blackfriars 86 (2005): 465-477. 
  • “Being a New Creation (2 Cor 5:17) is Being the Body of Christ: Paul and Feminist Scholars in Dialogue.” In Earth, Wind, and Fire: Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Creation. Carol J. Dempsey and Mary Margaret Pazdan, eds. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2004.