Following is a statement from Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, on the announcement of a new pastoral assignment to begin May 1st for Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carambula, former director of HLI’s Rome Office.
On behalf of the entire Human Life International family, I want to say: Thank you, Monsignor Barreiro!
With a deep sense of gratitude to Almighty God and to Monsignor Barreiro, I wanted to let HLI’s supporters know that, after years of discernment, Monsignor has accepted an invitation to serve as parochial vicar of St. Mary Church in Norwalk in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Though Monsignor is stepping down from full-time service with Human Life International, his commitment to the defense of faith, life, and family is not diminished. He will continue to preach the Gospel of Life and integrate Church teaching on life and family into his new pastoral duties, and he will continue to publish articles with HLI when his duties allow.
This announcement does, of course, come with some sadness, as Monsignor has been a part of the HLI family for eighteen years, since he helped to open our office in Rome. He has faithfully served the cause of life, faith, and family even through his battle with cancer over the last four years. Having handed the reins of the Rome office to Father Francesco Giordano last year, Monsignor feels that his work and HLI’s mission are in good hands and that he is free to pursue a long held desire to return to parish work. On more than one occasion, Monsignor has shared with me his desire to work full-time in parish ministry. One of his concerns is that for the better part of his priestly life he has served more from behind a computer than at the Altar of Sacrifice. For years he has had the strong desire to serve the Lord, offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, conferring the Sacraments, and teaching the unchanging doctrine of the Church in a parish setting.
Monsignor wishes to serve Our Lord in accordance with His divine will with all the time that the Lord grants him. Though Monsignor’s battle with cancer has taken a toll, he has courageously kept a busy schedule and a very high level of output, writing articles, giving advice to HLI’s partners and affiliates, and keeping up vital correspondence with colleagues in Rome, the United States, and around the world. Most importantly, however, has been his generosity in celebrating Holy Mass and offering prayers for HLI’s mission and partners, as well as his consultations on many complicated issues that arise in working to defend life and family from the heart of the Catholic faith. His wisdom on canon law, theology, and Church protocol has been invaluable to me and to all of HLI, and his insights and presence will be sorely missed.
Monsignor has also blessed the Church by helping a large number of students at HLI’s Rome office library, many of whom he helped in consultations on doctoral publications and other projects. Father Giordano and HLI’s Dr. Joseph Meaney are just two of the many Catholic leaders who have benefited from Monsignor Barreiro’s counsel and advice. When Dr. Meaney and Monsignor first opened the office eighteen years ago, there was no library dedicated to bioethics among the many Catholic libraries of Rome. Thanks to Monsignor’s efforts, there is now a thriving community of students engaged in these issues with fine resources around the small but influential HLI library.
I have spoken to Monsignor about the possibility of this transition for the last couple of years, and he is delighted that it has finally come together, although he will also miss being immersed in the fight for life and family. No doubt, he will remain in consultation with his many friends, colleagues and HLI partners going forward for as long as Our Lord allows him to serve. With his long experience in international diplomacy and Catholic intellectual inquiry, he will remain a great worker in the vineyard.
Please join me in praying for Monsignor’s health and peace as he enters this new phase of his service to the Church. Those interested in learning more about St. Mary’s may visit the parish website. Those who would like to send a note of thanks to Monsignor may do so at HLI’s contact page here.