Calling it a "leap forward in our efforts to encourage the clergy," Father Frank Pavone, executive director of Priests for Life, announced that another full-time priest has joined the staff of the international pro-life organization.
Father Peter West, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, has been released by Archbishop Theodore D. McCarrick for a three-year period to work for the association of Catholic clergy, which has its headquarters in Staten Island, N.Y.
Father Pavone made the announcement from Rome, where he works as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Vatican office which coordinates pro-life pastoral activity for the Church.
Father West joins Father Pavone and Father Richard Hogan of the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis, as well as a staff of 20 lay employees who make up the organization.
Priests for Life was founded in 1991. It has grown rapidly over the last several years. Its mission is to train and encourage the clergy to be actively pro-life and to infuse the structure of the Church with renewed enthusiasm for the pro-life cause.
It has found great favor among the episcopate of the U.S. Fifteen bishops currently sit on its board of advisors, including Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
"I am grateful to Archbishop McCarrick for assigning one of his priests to this ministry," said Father Pavone. "The archbishop's decision, at time when priests are in such demand, is a sign of his deep dedication to the cause of defending, the preborn."
In his first two weeks with Priests for Life, Father West has give pro-life talks in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Texas. An intense pro-life speaking schedule is being planned for him. In June, he will fly to Rome to meet with Father Pavone and other Vatican officials.
"I just returned from a trip to Chicago, and I was reminded of something I already knew: Pro-life people are the warmest, most kindhearted people in the world," Father West said. "I look forward to meeting and working with as many as possible in this most necessary work."
When he is not traveling, Father West will be working front the International Headquarters of Priests for Life, P.O. Box 141172, Staten Island, N.Y 10314. He can be reached at 718-980-4400.