Meet the Students Studying to Defend Life in Your Bioethics Library

You form pro-life teachers, doctors, and professionals who impact our culture for decades.

You have touched the lives of thousands through the HLI Bioethics Library in Rome since it was founded 22 years ago. I wish I could tell all their stories and personally express their heartfelt gratitude for what you and our loyal donors make available to them. Let me share just a few.


Ariel Hobbs loves the community at the bioethics library. Here she is with Fr. Giordano of HLI Rome.

Ariel Hobbs, a sophomore at Catholic University of America (CUA), recently spent a semester studying at CUA’s program in Rome. She spoke of the impact of her experience with the Bioethics Library and our Rome Office director, Fr. Giordano. Her comment best captures the essence of why HLI’s Library in Rome exists and why it is making such a tremendous impact:

“HLI’s Library in Rome exemplifies a convergence of educators and students from around the world who seek to bring back that ‘faith in life’ to our culture and society. From the priest writing a bioethics textbook across the table from me, to the religious sister silently praying her rosary over her books on culture and society after hours of study, each person I observed in the library around me brought a sense of hope in a society that seems to focus on death and despair.”  

HLI’s Library has the main function of aiding students who are studying in the pontifical universities on topics related to life and the family. On average, there are 4-6 people per day in the library. Between 80 and 120 people utilize it per month. Many are surprised to find that despite the large number of bioethics students in Rome, there are few libraries with adequate research. Our library specializes in these subjects – over 7,500 volumes from ceiling to floor on topics concerning the family, bioethics, and demography. Students can consult various Catholic academic and professional resources, find assistance from Fr. Giordano and his dedicated staff, and do research for their licentiate and/or doctoral theses.


Evan Simpkins is incredibly grateful for the opportunities you offer him through the Library, saying, “Libraries in Rome at the pontifical universities are very protective of their books whereas HLI allows us to make copies and use the books quite freely.” Evan, who is doing advanced research on St. Thomas’ Commentary on the Metaphysics, also appreciates the pro-life and family environment. Listen to what he says:

“There’s always a reminder of pro-life events, like the March for Life. The Library, to me, is truly an exceptional place. Soon, I will receive my doctorate and the Library has certainly played a part in that. I am thankful for all the help from the HLI Library and those who work there. I hope to carry the same values that we share here at the Library into my teaching career.”


Aneta Sadovska (left) completed her doctoral thesis at the bioethics library with help from Serenella Verduci of HLI Rome (right).

Aneta Sadovska is another student who received help from HLI’s Office and Library. Aneta, who is from Slovakia, defended her doctoral thesis in the field of bioethics. A few years prior, Aneta visited HLI’s office in Rome to find support for her newly undertaken studies. At that time, Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro was the director of HLI’s office. After speaking with Msgr. Barreiro and Dr. Joseph Meaney, Aneta received a partial scholarship, which allowed her to cover the costs of her studies at the Regina Apostolorum. Dr. Aneta deeply appreciates that, through your generosity, you provided her with both the materials and the environment she needed to absorb the Gospel of Life.

“HLI’s Library in Rome provided a serene environment for me to immerse myself in a treasure cove of academic literature and spiritual writings.”

Currently Dr. Aneta serves on the Faculty of Bioethics at the Pontifical University of the Regina Apostolorum. All this is only possible because of you. I would like to repeat the words of Dr. Aneta, since she best summarizes the heart of the situation we confront today, and why HLI’s Library serves a strategic and vital role.

“It is the education and formation of youth and families that will ultimately help reorient society back to God and to the Christian values of its roots. For this to happen, educators and parents need to have the opportunity to be enriched with an understanding of orthodox theology, modern culture, and the reasons behind Church teaching on life and sexuality.”

Through God’s abundant blessings and your sacrifices, our missionaries rise each and every day to fight the good fight. I am truly grateful for all you do to make this possible. Together, we are building a great campaign for life.

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