Student Profile: Margo Brousseau

Regis College Helps Lawyer Become Lay Judge in the Church


When Margo Brousseau enrolled into Regis College’s Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) program, she was inspired by a lifelong ambition to study theology. At the time, she did not anticipate that her degree would provide her with a decisive stepping-stone, enabling the already accomplished lawyer to enter a rewarding new realm: Canon Law. 

Margo grew up in Trois-Rivières, Québec, attending an all-girl school run by the Order of nuns, Les Ursulines. She is grateful to them for their sound Christian education and moral teaching, which started her upon a lifelong exploration of her faith. Upon graduation, she studied at Laval University, where she eventually attained her degree in civil law and an MBA.  

Many of Margo’s critical life-decisions have been conditioned by the career requirements of herself and her husband; in response, she has capitalized on the numerous moves and changes.  When her husband’s work took her to Toronto, she went promptly to the University of Toronto to incorporate common law into her repertoire, and joined the Toronto Port Authority Board of Directors. As she adapted to her new city, she came to appreciate all the opportunities offered by its cosmopolitan diversity.  Eager to take advantage of the new openings before her, Margo decided to focus on a subject that she always wanted to explore but had remained beyond her reach.

To Margo, theology was almost a forbidden fruit: in the Québec of her childhood, Jesuit education had been exclusively reserved for boys, and the Jesuit theological tradition itself had a great appeal to her. Discovering a Jesuit College within the University of Toronto, Margo wasted no time in enrolling.

At Regis College, Margo felt liberated by the open dialogue and critical atmosphere.  By no means shy, she loved being able to discuss any topic openly.  The culture of free ideas and respectful exchange, without a hint of sanctimoniousness, was a perfect match for one as outspoken as her. She felt that she was learning a new way of looking at the world, a dynamic stance of critical engagement.  In particular, through studies at Regis’ sister college, St. Augustine’s seminary, she became acquainted with a field which was new yet familiar to her – Canon Law. Before long Margo had finished her M.T.S., when another change in location provided the impetus to move forward with her education and career.

When another career change in her family uprooted Margo to Ottawa, she built upon her M.T.S. to enter the Faculty of Canon Law at St. Paul’s University, Ottawa.  There, she earned her Licentiate in Jure Canonico (JCL), accrediting her to practice the Church’s law. She was soon appointed lay judge by the Archbishop of Ottawa to the Ottawa Ecclesiastical Tribunal.

Working with the Catholic Church is deeply meaningful to Margo.  In her pursuit of knowledge, through her career and through academics, she has come to value her knowledge of the “Church Universal” knowing that she is part of an international body, and that her experiences in the Church are applicable in some way everywhere that the Church is present. 

With her M.T.S. from Regis, Margo has been able to shift her career into a new realm of law that she finds deeply satisfying.  She has been able to unite the strands of her Christian beliefs with her career in exciting ways, and is deeply proud of her achievements.  Of all her accomplishments, she was happiest to recount that she was selected recently as Grande Dame by her former girls’ school, to serve as a role model for young women.

Margo Brousseau earned her M.T.S. from Regis College in 2004.  She works as lay judge at the Ottawa Ecclesiastical Tribunal and is currently working on her PhD in Canon Law at Saint Paul University, Ottawa.