A Short History of Human Life International

Human Life International (HLI) was officially established in 1981 as a continuation of the Human Life Center founded by Father Paul Marx at St. John’s University in 1972. HLI exists for the defense of life, faith and family around the world.

With a Catholic priest as its founder, HLI has always been completely faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As Fr. Marx once wrote, “HLI’s most important service is to present the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, clear-headed analysis of what’s taking place in society, and, based on its international experience, suggestions for effective ways to deal with problems.” [The Warehouse Priest, page 307]

Fr. Marx was a pioneer in spreading the Church’s teaching about contraception, especially the instruction of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae. “HLI was one of the first voices to consistently proclaim that abortion is the fruit of contraception, that foresight contraception often leads to hindsight abortion, and that massive contraception has caused increasing abortion worldwide.  Having visited and studied eighty-five countries, I challenge any bishop, priest, professor, or scientist to show me the contrary. Abortion is the end point of the abuse of sex, which begins with the unleashing of the sexual urge by contraception.” [The Warehouse Priest, page 262]

Fr. Marx and Bishop John Keating at the opening of HLI’s headquarters in VA.

Human Life International began operating in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and opened its current world headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia in 1996. Sponsor of more than 70 international conferences and over 50 conferences in the United States, HLI’s missionaries have inspired and trained pro-life leaders, families, seminarians and students in approximately 160 nations. By establishing connections through conferences, training seminars and pro-life missionary trips, HLI maintains relationships with affiliates and partners in over 80 countries around the world.

Father Shenan J. Boquet assumed the role of president of HLI in November of 2011.