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28 April 2020

A tribute to Sister Jeanne Dusseault, CSC

It is with sadness that the Sisters of Holy Cross announce the death of one of their members who has left an indelible mark on the Congregation, on the Church and on the world of her time.

Sister Jeanne Dusseault passed away on April 26, 2020 in Saint-Laurent, QC, at the age of 100. She was born in a rural milieu in Western Canada and when she was sixteen years old, she embarked upon a long and fruitful adventure in religious life, committing herself to education in all its forms.

After many years in the teaching profession, she was named Prefect of Studies in the Congregation, a post she held for 11 years. She also served as Provincial Superior in the Sainte-Therese de L’Enfant Jésus Province in Alberta from 1967 to 1973, then as Superior General of the Congregation in Saint-Laurent, QC, from 1973 to 1985. During her entire mandate, she was very attentive to the needs of the poorest countries, assessing the demands for help from various Bishops, calling forth the gifts of the Sisters to establish missions in those lands.   In close collaboration with others, she undertook the responsibility of revising the Constitutions in the light and spirit of the Founder, Blessed Basile Moreau. Individuals, provinces, youth, assemblies for formation and renewal — all had their rightful place during her administration. From 1993 to 2002, she served as Director of the Office for Religious in the Archdiocese of Montreal. During these years, she was engaged in the animation of various religious communities, especially those with fewer members.

Sister Dusseault was a woman of vision and audacity; a woman of exceptional leadership who encouraged collaborative team work and recognized the gifts of others. She knew how to read the signs of the times and respond to these challenges with wisdom. From its very beginnings, she was active in Catholic Action, and was counted among those responsible for the J.E.C. (Catholic student youth organization). In collaboration with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, she was instrumental in pushing for the French College Saint-Jean associated with the University of Ottawa. This will led to the formation in early 1980’s of the French Faculté Saint-Jean (later renamed Campus Saint-Jean) of the University of Alberta. Sister Jeanne was very involved in the formation of persons of every age and every profession, always solicitous that they become competent in their particular field of action and service.

We give thanks today for the life of this exceptional woman.