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Marie Josephine Goetz (b. 7 March 1817; d. 4 January 1874) was a French nun, the second superior-general of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Life

She was the daughter of Joseph Goetz of Strasburg and Marie Anne Wagner;her parents dying early, her education was left to the care of an aunt who sent her to school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Besançon. At the age of seventeen she entered the novitiate of the Sacred Heart at Montet and took her first vows in 1837.

In 1842 she was entrusted with the charge of the school at Besançon, which was going through a difficult phase, and showed judicious management. Immediately after profession in 1847 she was appointed mistress of novices at Conflans. She continued in this charge, to which was afterwards added the government of the house as superior, until 1864, when she was named vicar-general.

The failing strength of Sophie Barat, who founded the Society, made it necessary for her to have some one at hand, to whom she could communicate her views for the future. She found a full understanding of them in Mother Josephine Goetz, who was elected superior-general in 1865.

Mother Goetz governed as superior-general for nine years. Her work was principally one of consolidation. She established a training school at Conflans to prepare the young religious for their duties as teachers, and entrusted to a small committee the revision and adaptation of the curriculum of studies to the growing needs of the order. During the Franco-Prussian war and the time of the siege and Commune in Paris, Reverend Mother Goetz was obliged to withdraw to Laval, that communications with her religious might not be cut off.

She made visitations of the houses then existing in Europe, as far as time and health permitted - but her strength rapidly failed and she died from a stroke of paralysis, after a few days' illness.

This article incorporates text from the entry Marie Josephine Goetz in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

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