St Gerard Majella Parish in Mirrabooka recently lost one its most treasured parishioners, Christina Lauretta Boudville. A devout Catholic and longstanding member of the parish, Mrs Boudville passed away on 4 February 2015 surrounded by her loving family.
Mrs Boudville’s daughter, Marilyn Bull, recently described her mother as a woman renowned for her acts of charity towards the poor and underprivileged.
“I can’t praise her enough for what she did. She was a good Christian who worked tirelessly for those in need.
“She especially helped so many refugees come out from Burma and looked after them once they arrived,” Mrs Bull said.
Born in Rangoon (now Yangon), Burma (Myanmar), Mrs Boudville migrated to Australia in 1966 with her husband, William, in search of a better life for herself and her family.
However, having arrived at the age of 45, Mrs Boudville had difficulties finding employment. Despite many setbacks, she persevered in her pursuit of a job until she was employed by the Sisters of St John of God, Subiaco, as a nursing assistant.
Mrs Boudville’s devotion to her work and overall passion for helping the sick soon earned her a position as the Matron’s assistant. In this role, she managed to offer services to those in need, both within and outside the hospital. She often collected towels, sheets, linen, spare beds and anything else no longer needed by the hospital and made sure that those items were donated to the disadvantaged, including impoverished refugees.
Mrs Boudville also acted as a mother figure to many orphaned children.
“We recently received an envelope from a lady whom we had never heard of,” recounted Mrs Bull.
“In it, there was a letter saying that my mum had helped this woman and her family when they arrived from Burma. After the sudden death of her mother and father when she was only two, this woman said that my mother had taken her under her wing and helped her significantly. I didn’t know this! I read these things and realise what an amazing woman she was.”
There are many priests and nuns in the Archdiocese of Perth who will remember Mrs Boudville for her high-spirited manner.
Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, who celebrated Mrs Boudville’s funeral, was parish priest of St Gerard’s Mirrabooka in the time when Mrs Boudville did most of her charity work.
Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, Monsignor Michael Keating, who also served as parish priest of St Gerard’s, organised a pilgrimage to Lourdes in France, Israel and Rome, Italy, in the mid-1990s which Mrs Boudville attended.
Mrs Boudville frequently visited the Sisters of St John of God after her retirement, with her visits increasing when the nuns fell ill or needed greater assistance.
In response to a question regarding the kind of force that drove her mother to do so many charitable works in her life, Mrs Bull said that she was completely wrapped around Jesus and Mary, the mother of God.
“It didn’t matter what she did or where she went, she believed that they were with her and looked after her.
“She was very close to God and always looked for new ways to serve the Church.”
Mrs Boudville’s funeral was celebrated at St Gerard’s Catholic Church on Friday, 13 February 2015.