Birth: October 5, 1936
Profession: July 22, 1965
Death: February 9, 2024
Religious of the Sacred Heart Theresa “T” Moser died on February 9, 2024, in Atherton, California. She was 87 years old and religious for 67 years. Theresa, or “T” as she was known, was born on October 5, 1936, in Dallas, Texas, to August Charles Moser, Jr., and Margaret Genevieve Murrin Moser. She was one of nine children with three sisters and five brothers. Her father was a senior partner of the Dallas commercial and industrial real-estate firm, Moser Company, currently in operation since 1910. He also served in World War II as Captain of the 155th Field Artillery Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division, being honorably discharged as a major in 1945.
Theresa attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas. She was introduced to the Society of the Sacred Heart when she enrolled at the College of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, in 1953 on a scholarship. Theresa attended for three years. The college closed in 1956 at the beginning of her senior year. She finished her college degree later by taking courses through the summers. Theresa entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1956 at Kenwood and made her first vows there in 1959. Sister Moser graduated from Maryville College in 1961 with a B.A. in English and then went on to teach at Sacred Heart schools in New Orleans and St. Louis (1960‒1965) before making her final profession in Rome on July 22, 1965. After her profession, Sister Moser taught at Barat Hall, school for boys, in St. Louis for two years. During this time, she began studies in 1966 for a graduate degree at Saint Louis University while also serving as academic principal at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles. She earned an M.A. in English from the university in 1969. She was also a member of the provincial council in St. Louis (1967‒1969). In 1970, Sister Moser was named academic principal at Villa Duchesne in St. Louis for one year and then went on to Glen Oak School in Gates Mills, Ohio (1971‒1973).
In 1973, Sister Moser’s trajectory turned to Catholic higher education, which was her passion. She began studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley where she earned a licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1982. She also earned a Ph.D. in Religion and Society in 1983 from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. She was a professor at the University of Washington, a visiting professor at John Carroll University (1984‒1987), and an assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University (1987‒1989). From 1991 to 1996, Sister Moser was coordinator of adult & special programs at the University of San Francisco. She became assistant dean for academic programs at the university in 1994 and held this position until 2013.
Sister Moser published articles on issues addressing religion and Christian social ethics. Her dissertation, the Evolution of the Option for the Poor in France, 1880-1965 was published in 1985 and was nominated for the John Gilmary Shea Prize. In 2002, Sister Moser published an article entitled, “A Warm Heart and a Clear Eye: Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the University”; it was published in Conversations, the magazine on Jesuit Higher Education (fall 2002) continues to be a valuable resource to many Catholic colleges and universities.
While at USF, Sister Moser also served on the board of two national professional associations, the College Theology Society (CTS) and the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), and served on an ad hoc committee for the Mandatum, 1999-2000, for CTSA. She was elected president of the CTS, and served for eleven years as secretary of the CTSA. Sister Moser’s professional memberships also included the American Academy of Religion, Society of Christian Ethics, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. She authored numerous scholarly articles and papers and presented widely in academic circles.
Sister Moser was appointed area director, of the Society’s San Francisco/East Bay Area for two consecutive terms. In her appointment letter, the provincial team shared comments and experiences from the RSCJ as they discerned candidates for this role. Among the many accolades, the RSCJ described Sister Moser as a leader who was “thoughtful, articulate, and communicates well”; she has a “lively inner spirit; she makes herself available for whatever is needed and is supportive of people in transition and of the sick and dying.”
In 2018, Sister Moser was invited to join the leadership team of the United States-Canada Province where she served a term of three years.
Sister Moser served also as a trustee of the University of San Diego beginning in 2013 until her death. During her tenure on the board, Sister Moser served on the academic affairs committee and the student affairs committee. She delighted in celebrating the successes of the students and was committed to proudly representing the board through her participation in the commencement exercises each year.
Sister Moser served also on the Board of Trustees of the Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco, for nine years. She was also parish office administrator of St. Ignatius Parish on the University of San Francisco campus. She worked with couples as they prepared for their weddings at St. Ignatius, with new parents to arrange the baptisms of their newborns, and with families as they prepared funeral liturgies for their loved ones. She was active at St. Ignatius until a sudden illness put an end to her work there.
Over the past few months, Sister Moser had been living at Oakwood, the retirement community for the Religious of the Sacred Heart where she was undergoing physical therapy. She was determined to practice her therapy and encouraged as she walked the Oakwood grounds. Her death came quite suddenly during the night of February 9, after she had stated that she was not feeling well. In the months before her death, Sister Moser enjoyed visits from her family, the Jesuits, and friends from St. Ignatius parish
A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Sister Moser on March 7 at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific) at St. Ignatius Church, in San Francisco, followed by a reception in the parish hall. The burial will be at Oakwood on March 8, beginning with a liturgy at 10:00 a.m. (Pacific) followed by burial in the Oakwood Cemetery.