Sister M. Laurentia (Boyle), CSC

(May 17, 1906 - January 13, 2012)

Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Laurentia (Boyle) who died at 1:57 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2012, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Sister Laurentia’s history with the Sisters of the Holy Cross is rich in family connections.  Sister Mary Elizabeth was her younger sister, Grace, Sister Laurence McCloskey was her aunt, Sister Loudus Quinn was a cousin and Sister Seraphia Fox was a great aunt, Sister Helene Sharp is also related to sister.  However, amazingly she was never taught by Holy Cross sisters and had no personal contact with them before entering.

She entered the congregation in 1927 at the age of 21 and lived to the advanced age of 105 which attests to the quality of care the sisters receive when they retire at Saint Mary’s.  Sister’s life was full and productive, it can be divided roughly into three segments, her 44 years in teaching and administration in the elementary schools of the East, her 21 years in pastoral ministry, and her 30 years in volunteer service to the community and the ministry of prayer at Saint Mary’s.  Each of these segments is rich in the contributions sister made as she ministered to the people of God.  Many of those to whom she ministered became loyal friends and kept in contact with sister over the years.

After successfully teaching for over 4 decades Sister Laurentia embarked on a new venture in the field of parish work in Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria, Virginia.  There she was involved in various ministries, such as religious education, RCIA, and visiting homes of children preparing for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.  She was innovative in establishing a prayer group that met every morning at 6:30 to pray for the needs of the parish. She also began a weekly support group for stay-at-home mothers and their young children, appropriately called:  Babies and Moms.  This was an outgrowth of the classes she offered to new parents when they received preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism for their newborn.   She left parish work to use her person skills as a patient visitor in the Alexandria and Circle Terrace Hospitals in Virginia where she served for 13 years before returning to Blessed Sacrament in 1990 at the age of 84 before retiring to Saint Mary’s.

Sister was famous for her dry sense of humor and quick repartee tinged with a flavor of brusqueness that was a source of enjoyment to visitors and caregivers alike; most of whom love to share stories of humorous incidents in their interaction with her.  It’s acknowledged that her smile was contagious and lit up her face giving a sparkle to her Irish eyes.

Those eyes now joyously look at the face of God for all eternity and sister rests in peace from her years of labor.

Funeral arrangements for Sister Laurentia are as follows:  Reception of the body and wake with memento on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. with the Mass of Resurrection on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.  All of these ceremonies will take place in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto. 


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