Profile of Paul Comeau, Long-time Board Member
From the Winter 2014 Culture of Life newsletter
Longtime Pope Paul VI Institute Board Member, Paul Comeau, is proud to recount the Institute’s many accomplishments since he joined the Board of Directors almost 30 years ago. A former attorney for Union Pacific, Comeau was contacted by Dr. Thomas Hilgers in the early 1980s for help in finding a location for what would become the Pope Paul VI Institute.
“We were looking all over for a suitable location, and one day I was driving down Mercy Road, which makes so much sense now, and saw a lot with an old car wash. It had some weeds and needed some work, but it seemed like a perfect spot,” he recalls. “So I looked up the owner through the County Assessor, an Iowa farmer, who had long been considering selling the lot. A year and a half later we broke ground and the rest is history.”
When Comeau joined the Board more than 30 years ago, the Institute consisted of the Hilgers, Dr. Hilgers’ research, and a vision for an Institute that would meet Pope Paul VI’s appeal to medical professionals (as stated in Humanae Vitae).
“Here was this young doctor who was doing really amazing work, and there was nothing else like it,” says Comeau. “He works so hard but he is also so talented. I can’t imagine there are many people who would have the talent and commitment to build what he has over the past 30 years. To do what he has with the help of a few faithful donors is remarkable.”
The accomplishments Comeau cites in speaking about the Institute are many. It includes educational programs that have trained physicians and other medical professionals from six continents, an advisory board with bishops from the throughout the United States and the Vatican, the support of former popes and a medical clinic that “creates life.”
While Comeau is extremely proud of the Institute’s many accomplishments, he understands that the Institute has a lot of work left to do. “We are building a culture of life and it’s been against great odds,” he says. “But looking back, there is no doubt the Holy Spirit has helped guide our work.”