HLI Statement on the Passing of Mother Angelica

Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International

With the passing of Mother Angelica, we have lost a fearless defender of the Gospel of Life. She mentored and inspired countless pro-lifers throughout the years with her candor, laughter, courage, and personal witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. When she said, “We are going to talk about Jesus,” it was evident that she spoke from her heart and personal encounter. Her love of the Lord was contagious.

I first met Mother Angelica in 1990 when I attended her live show in Irondale, Alabama. Mother spoke about the importance of public witness and authentically living the faith, as it is the seed of transformation of culture. She talked about being a disciple of Jesus and joyfully living one’s vocation. Following the show, I met Mother and we briefly spoke about my seminary formation and journey toward the priesthood. This chance with Mother would be the first among many opportunities, moments I have cherished.

She left an indelible mark upon all who knew her, as she did upon me. In my last visit with Mother in January of this year, I thanked her for her encouragement, support, and prayers. I spoke about how her life impacted me and shared a few personal stories of our visits. Before giving Mother a blessing, I again expressed my heartfelt gratitude to her for her personal example and friendship.

Father Boquet Mother Angelica

Father Boquet with Mother Angelica during a pilgrimage visit in the late 1990s.

Like many, I am grateful to Mother Angelica for her loving and courageous witness, and to Almighty God for her life and legacy. Because of her witness and trust in the Lord, the transforming power of the Gospel of Life is being proclaimed around the world. Because of EWTN’s television and radio programs, millions of people around the world are hearing the Gospel, learning about Jesus, His teachings, and His Church. Mother’s fidelity, commitment, and fearless adherence to the Truth made this possible and continues to make a difference.

One thing about Mother Angelica I want others to remember is her profound love for priests, in spite of her challenges and at times chastisements. She always offered her love, support, encouragement, and personal prayers. She saw in the priest the presence of Jesus and her challenges simply reminded priests of the beauty and obligation of their vocation. I remember witnessing one priest telling Mother how difficult it was to preach the Gospel. He shared his personal struggles and the negative responses he was receiving from his parishioners because he was trying to guide them in the teachings of Jesus and His Church. Mother’s response was both affirming and direct. “We need you, Father, to be courageous. The Church needs needs you. The people, though they do not know it, need you. Jesus has called you by name to be priest and shepherd of His people. Go home and keep preaching and teaching. My sisters and I will pray for you.”

HLI and our partners around the world are also deeply grateful to our friends at EWTN, who have joined HLI in proclaiming the Gospel of Life. Mother Angelica and her staff at EWTN have provided HLI and other pro-life and pro-family apostolates with the ability to share their work with the global community. Mother had such a heart for the pro-life movement and for those whose lives we are trying to save.

Our dear Mother Angelica was a faithful servant of the Master and fought the good fight. May the Lord console her sisters, colleagues, and friends in their mourning, and may Mother rest in the peace of the Risen Lord.

About Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing hli@hli.org.

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