Saying Goodbye to a Friend

As this email goes out, I will probably have just landed in Manila and met our dear friend, the unstoppable Dr. Ligaya Acosta, our director of Asia and Oceania.

This is my sixth (seventh?) mission to the Philippines since I joined HLI almost five years ago. My colleague and traveling partner, Dr. Brian Clowes, can’t count how many times he has been to this archipelago nation of almost 100 million souls. But we both love coming here, where the hearts of our Filipino brothers and sisters are even warmer than the hot weather that always welcomes us as we disembark from the plane.

The faith is still strong here, and while there are many reasons for this, one very large reason is because of the reach of EWTN, the Catholic network started by our recently departed and beloved Mother Angelica. Filipinos, of whom almost 80% are Catholic, know the fiery Italian nun and evangelist well.

Truth be told, my heart is in two places right now. A big part of me is with my friends in Alabama. Over the last few days I’ve communicated with Michael Warsaw, Mother Dolores, the Friars, and Knights of the Holy Eucharist to express the condolences of the HLI community for the loss of Mother Angelica. It pains me to not be able to join them for the various remembrances of our sister, and to participate in the Holy Mass of Christian burial tomorrow. Their love for Mother is palpable in both their sadness and their gracious perseverance as they pull together to get through what will be a very busy week full of hospitality and diligence in fulfilling their duties. More than one of my friends have told me that Mother would in no way want me to cancel the mission we have planned, and I know they’re right. My heart is with them in prayer, and I know you all can say the same. I ask you to keep the Poor Clares, the Friars, the Knights and the whole EWTN community in prayer especially during this difficult time. We will certainly be praying for them at our many events in the next eight days in the Philippines.

Also, despite well-intended calls for Mother’s sainthood to be declared, let us not forget to pray for her soul and not presume that because of her heroic life that she does not need our prayers. You know she would not approve of such an assumption. Our merciful Lord knows all there is to know, and He will use our prayers as He sees fit. Not a prayer is ever wasted when our intentions are submitted to the will of God.

I’ll have to leave it there for now. Thank you all for your kind prayers and support of our mission to the Philippines, and of our missionary partners around the world. We pray that the Holy Spirit can do what we can’t, in reaching and changing the hearts of all people of good will, whether through EWTN’s broadcasts, our missions, and the efforts of faithful Catholics all over the world. To God be the glory, now and forever. Amen!



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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