Why you want to know Elizabeth Ann “Beth” Boucher: Since becoming a parishioner at St. Joseph Church 19 years ago, Beth has been a co-leader of the Pro-Life Committee, is the respect life contact for the parish and liaison of the parish for Life Choices pregnancy crisis center. She is a member of the Close Knit Faith group, which studies Scripture and knits items for people in need, including nursing home seniors and patients in neonatal units. She makes taco soup each year for Catholic Campus Ministry students at the University of Central Arkansas and has been bringing desserts for the CCM campus lunches this year. She also facilitates a parish cancer support group, volunteers with the community assistance program, attends faith formation classes, drives people to Mass and is a regular attendee at Beacon of Hope grief ministry events.
Parish: St. Joseph Church
Family: Husband of 47-1/2 years Jeff Boucher, died in 2012 from leukemia; three children, Vicki Simunek of Phoenix, Karen Worthington of Tulsa, Okla., and Mark Boucher of Ashburn, Va.; five granddaughters.
Profession: Around 20 years as an accountant, auditor for the federal government and private entities.
Arkansas Catholic’s theme this year is “The Truth will set you free.” What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” I have just learned to be grateful, since my husband passed away especially, I know that sounds odd. But my philosophy after I lost Jeff is “if it’s not life or death, it’s not life or death.” … Every morning when I wake up I thank God for another day.
You’re involved in a lot of activities, what is the most spiritually fulfilling?
Pro-life; it was the first thing I joined in 1998. That was on my heart because we lost our first two grandbabies, they were also girls. The one was stillborn, the other lived 42-1/2 hours. … Holding those little tiny babies, that brought pro-life home to me even more. I guess that’s still something that I just really care about it … When people get more educated about the issue, hearts are going to change when minds change. There’s more and more medical science coming out. Also, pro-life isn’t just about abortion. I was able to be with my mother and both my mother-in-law and father-in-law when they died natural, and at a lovely old age, all of them. We need to not mess with it as human beings — that is God’s job.
Was there ever someone that touched your heart in pro-life work?
I remember one time being down at the abortion clinic (in Little Rock) there was a woman, I didn’t know her, she was standing across the street holding a sign saying, “I regret my abortion.” … Every time I hear or see a woman that actually says that, I am just blown away by their courage. I think they’re the bravest people.
Why do you stay so involved?
Maybe I’m making up for lost time. It’s what I’m called to do. I’m a cradle Catholic, but I don’t think I really, I wouldn’t say went through the motions, I was a faithful Catholic, but I don’t think I was really serious until sometime in the ’80s. It was a particular parish priest that touched me with his words; he really modeled Jesus to the parish. He told us everyone should have a ministry and be involved … He was the one who really started speaking to my heart. He was a scriptural scholar. I really never studied the Bible; I was a typical Catholic my age. He got me to do that … There’s been some real Jesus models in my life.
What are your hobbies?
I like to read. I’m always going to see my kids. My kids all work, their kids are all at school so I’m on the road visiting.
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