St. Louis Cathedral To Host Mass For Lindy Boggs On August 1

Jul 30, 2013

A New Orleans mass for veteran stateswoman Lindy Boggs will be celebrated Thursday, August 1, at 11 a.m. at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. Visitation begins at 9 a.m.

Boggs often walked to mass at the cathedral from her home on Bourbon Street.

The first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana, Boggs died Saturday at her home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, at age 97.

Forty years ago Boggs won an historic special election to take her husband Hale Boggs’ post in Congress, after he disappeared in a plane crash. Her daughter, NPR and ABC News journalist Cokie Roberts, recalled her mother’s difficulty transitioning to the job, to a congressional historian in 2007.

“Mama was not used to alienating anybody. What her role had been, for daddy, was making everybody think that he was with them,” Roberts said.

She went on to describe the unique position of her mother, as a woman taking on such a high-powered position:

“Mrs. Johnson called her, Ladybird Johnson, and said, ‘Lindy I think it’s a great idea, but how are you going to do it without a wife?’ Because they were so accustomed to being a part of their husbands’ political life, that the thought of running the office or running a campaign without a partner seemed daunting, and it was daunting.”

In her nine terms as a representative, Lindy Boggs was known for her using her southern feminine charm. She’s remembered as a champion for racial and gender equality, and for children.

Her final term in public service began at age 81, when Boggs served as ambassador to the Vatican, during the Clinton administration.

Boggs was born on a sugar plantation near New Roads, Louisiana. She’ll be buried in that same town.