Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ, took her final vows as a member of the Society of the Sacred Heart on Sunday, January 26, 2020. The private ceremony took place at the Villa Lante community in Rome, Italy, with eight other RSCJ from six countries. She celebrated with the St. Louis community on February 22 with a Mass and reception at the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in St. Charles, Missouri.
“I am so grateful to have found the Society of the Sacred Heart.” Sister Mousseau said. “Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) are women who truly make God’s love present in our world, which needs it more than ever. They are in touch with the needs of all people, all over the world, addressing those needs in many different ways. I am honored to be an RSCJ, and I pray that each one of us follows the voice of God wherever we are led.”
As a religious professed, Sister Mousseau, age 41, publically vows obedience, poverty and chastity and dedicates herself to use her gifts and talents to the service of the Society, especially to the education of youth.
A native of Helena, Montana, Sister Mousseau entered the Society of the Sacred Heart as a candidate in St. Louis in 2009. She began her novitiate the following year in San Diego. During her two-year noviceship, in addition to learning about the mission, ministries and history of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Sister Mousseau served one academic term as religion teacher and campus minister at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, in Newton, Massachusetts, one of the 24 schools in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.
She took first vows in 2012 and began teaching at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, where she currently serves as professor of church history, teaching classes on church history, vowed life and theology.
During her final year of preparation for final vows, a time called probation, Sister Mousseau spent time in Spain and Rome in prayer, reflection, service, and further deepening her love and understanding of the Society. Because RSCJ sisters of temporary vows from various parts of the world gather for this experience, it also is a unique opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the internationality of the Society.
From December 2018 to June 2019, Sister Mousseau’s international experience was in Almería, in southern Spain, working with RSCJ at Bantabá, a socio-educational center.
“I asked to spend my international experience in Spain,” Sister Mousseau said, “when I heard about their province’s commitment to migrant populations. Coming from the United States, where immigration is a constant topic of conversation and part of the political climate, I wanted to get a sense of the life of immigrants and what it looks like in contexts other than my own.”
Sister Mousseau holds a master’s and doctorate in historical theology from St. Louis University and a bachelor’s (magna cum laude) from Gonzaga University. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes at the University of Dallas School of Ministry, Saint Louis University, Aquinas Institute of Theology and Maryville University. Her research has focused on medieval theology, theology of the Holy Spirit, and music and liturgy. She has presented at several international conferences, published several translations, and written numerous scholarly articles and papers.
Recently, Sister Mousseau published several books. She co-edited In Our Own Words: Religious Life in a Changing World with Franciscan Sister Sarah Kohles, a book exploring the reality of vowed life today. She edited A Life Given In Love: Reflections on Philippine Duchesne, a collection of homilies and reflections about this saint. She published Adam of Saint-Victor, Sequences, a translation of liturgical poetry written by Adam of Saint Victor, who lived in the twelfth century.
She is in the early stages of researching the writings and time period of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
On January 26, eight other RSCJ also celebrated their final vows:
- María Jimena O’Neill, RSCJ, Argentina/Uruguay Province
- Amélie Jarrousse, RSCJ, Belgium/France/Netherlands Province
- Dolly (Kiran) Kumrawat, RSCJ, India Province
- Natália Do Rêgo, RSCJ, Indonesia Province
- Bang Junghye, RSCJ, Korea/Chinese Province
- Kim Jihye, RSCJ, Korea/Chinese Province
- Rachel Lema Moya, RSCJ, Democratic Republic of Congo Province
- Judith Malunga Mayasi, RSCJ, Democratic Republic of Congo Province