Miss Louisa Staunton, a deceased benefactor of The Good Counsel Network, saved a lot of time and money as well as saving a lot of lives by her generous response to an appeal for housing.
Louisa originally came to The Good Counsel Network, a Catholic Pro-Life organisation, to attend the Counsellor Training Course we run. One day when attending one of the sessions, she overheard one of us phoning around trying to find accommodation for a woman who was turned around outside an abortion clinic and who wanted to keep her baby, but could not go home as her boyfriend had threatened both her and her baby. Louisa immediately said, “she can stay with me!”.
Without regard for her own safety or comfort, Louisa took this lady home with her and there began her new work of looking after vulnerable expectant mums. Louisa turned her whole house over to us, having as many as 3 members of our staff/volunteers living with her at any time as well as up to 4 mothers-to-be. She hated to accept any money from the mothers who stayed with her and was regarded as a grandmotherly figure by them all. The last Friday before she died, I brought another girl to stay with Louisa. “Mary” had spent the previous night sleeping on various London buses, after being made homeless by her employer because of her pregnancy. We had tried to find her a place wherever we could and Louisa was the first to say yes, even though there were already 4 other women staying with her. When we arrived she made Mary very welcome and cheered her up no end by her friendliness. The last time I saw Louisa conscious she was blowing bubbles in the living room to entertain Mary. “Its Our Lady’s house” she told us as we thanked her for taking Mary in.
Louisa went to bed that night but could not be woken in the morning. She was taken to hospital where she remained unconscious until Monday. Doctors found she had had bleeding around the brain during Friday night. On Monday a Priest came to the hospital to say Mass in her room. The gospel that day was the cure of the woman with a haemorrhage. Louisa died immediately after the Mass, having never regained consciousness.
During her life Louisa worked as a nurse, later a psychiatric nurse and also an assistant to the blind. She was involved in many Catholic organisations, especially the Legion of Mary. Even at the age of 75, she did the shopping for many ill and housebound neighbours and was known well by all who lived near her. She gave away anything that was asked of her to others, including on one occasion where she gave her car to a family she had just
met whose car had broken down!
Lousia was involved in the Justice and Peace movement throughout her life and regarded justice and peace for the unborn as a priority. She had supported various pro-life causes over the years and while working with us she housed over 20 mothers and many babies, who may not otherwise have come into the world.
She did not confine herself to providing a roof for these girls but really loved them and took and interest in their lives. From serving ice cream to them at midnight to helping them repair their relationships with their families, she was always there for them. The more difficult the girl, the more she loved.
She was a special friend to the lonely and depressed. She loved Our Lord and had a strong devotion to Our Lady, particularly Our Lady of Good Counsel and Our Lady of All Nations.
Louisa had spent a long period of her life wanting to become a religious sister. Speaking at her funeral, one of her brothers pointed out that although she had not been able to achieve this she made her world a kind of convent where she could serve God through prayer and through her actions to those around her.
Through a strange series of events she was buried wearing a Carmelite habit and was buried on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
May God rest your soul Louisa, our great pro-life friend and sister in Christ.
Please pray for the repose of her soul, and also ask her prayers for your intentions.
“Then the king will say to those at his right hand. ‘Come, O Blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me”. Matt 25 v34-36Due to the generosity of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, we have been allowed to continue housing pregnant women at Louisa’s house.
Holy Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Louisa on the second anniversary of her death, 5th July at 7.30pm in the Carmelite Convent, St. Charles Square, London, W10 6EA
The Good Counsel Network