Since Father Shenan Boquet became president of Human Life International in October, he has been getting to know the pro-life communities in the United States and internationally. Last week, his travels took him to Chicago.
Father Boquet joined Pro-Life Action League Directors Joe and Ann Scheidler for dinner in downtown Chicago on Thursday, prior to hearing a Chicago Symphony performance that evening.
As Joe Scheidler often does in meetings like these, he said to Fr. Boquet early on, “Tell us the story of your life.” And Fr. Boquet did just that, launching into his family history of growing up in an exceptionally large extended family in southern Louisiana.
As a priest he had always been involved in pro-life cause, but had never thought to make it his life’s work—until he got a call from a completely unknown attorney who told him his name had been submitted as a candidate for president of Human Life International.
To this day, he has no idea who recommended him for the position.
Father went to his bishop and told him about the opportunity to head up HLI. The bishop frankly told him, “I cannot afford to let you go, but since you did not apply for the position, they came seeking you, I have to conclude it is where God wants you. And I can’t interfere with that.”
So, with his bishop’s blessing, Fr. Boquet packed up and went to Front Royal, Virginia to take up his new mission.
While in the Chicago area, in addition to meeting with supporters of HLI and with the Scheidlers, Fr. Boquet gave the closing address at the Theology of the Body Respect Life Conference hosted by the Respect Life Offices of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet.
He urged attendees to take all they had learned at the conference and share it with friends, family and colleagues and, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “Do Not Be Afraid.”
On Saturday evening, following the TOB conference, Fr. Boquet joined local pro-lifers for a pot luck dinner at the home of pro-life stalwarts Robert and Wanda Glitz. It was a good opportunity to learn more about the missions of HLI and the status of the pro-life movement in many countries around the world. HLI has a presence in over 80 countries.
Fr. Boquet gave us all his blessings and asked for prayers for HLI. We invite you to include Human Life International in your prayers during Holy Week and whenever you pray for the success of pro-life initiatives around the world.