Thursday, August 1, 2013


Mother Irene Boothroyd, 93, a member of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, died at the Abbey on July 19, 2013, after a short illness. Our infirmarian for over 50 years, Mother Irene was a World War II Veteran who landed at Utah Beach in Normandy on June 16, 1944. She was a member of the Army Nurse Corps, participating in the drive across France and Belgium with General Patton's 3rd Army. We called her the nurse of the Battle of the Bulge as she not only cared for the wounded in that battle in the Ardennes during January 1945, but she often treated us as if we were at war!  She attained the rank of Captain and during the Korean War she cared for wounded soldiers State-side.

 Mother Irene had a fierce love for and dedication to our Foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict, caring for her physically and supporting her vision for the Foundation of Regina Laudis. For years she extended hospitality through her care of the Abbey guesthouses and in providing transportation at a time when she was one of very few community members with a driver's license. She was the one most of us met  when we arrived for our first retreats before entrance into the monastery.

She was the first New Englander I ever met, and perhaps set the stage for what I  still think that rare breed of Americans stands for: stoic, no-nonsense, very private, and independent, yet giving of themselves.

With Lois Grant (L)
Mother was a prayerful woman and never forgot the people she served with in war. "I always pray for all of those people who served in World War II because that’s when I served. And at the Abbey we pray for (and many times put in the prayers at Mass) all the veterans from World War II, some from the Pacific, some from Europe. But I always pray for those patients whose body my hands touched in a form of healing. Whether it be changing their wounds, soothing their brow, giving them penicillin, giving them blood or plasma, or just being present in their company. And I pray for the people with whom I worked and served."

A documentary film entitled "Uncompromising Valor" about Mother Irene's life and experience as a World War II Army nurse is in the final stages of production. She was a living archive with a memory for detail that was second to none.

(Photos and information from Abbey of Regina Laudis)

Mother Irene at her Consecration

1 comment:

  1. This was my Aunt, her obituary never ran in the Massachusetts papers, I have never found it any where else but here. Yes was an amazing person