In view of the importance of clergy to the pro-life movement, we at VFTU decided to provide some personal profiles of the members of Priests for Life. In this issue, we profile Rev. Denis G. Wilde, O.S.A., and Fr. Peter J. West, both priest associates of Priests for Life.
Rev. Denis G. Wilde, O.S.A. is a member of the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova and has served on the faculty of Villanova University from 1977 to 1998. A Long Island native, Fr. Wilde is an accomplished pianist and enjoys presenting concerts for pro-life organizations.
He received his Ph.D. in music from The Catholic University of America and has been professionally engaged as choral director both at Villanova and as a guest director of other college chorales in the United States and abroad. Father feels a unique interest in integrating music and pro-life ministry, much as the heart is moved through beauty in life.
Fr. Wilde has been actively involved in pro-life interests since before Roe vs. Wade. He has spoken at a number of pro-life civic and religious functions in the Boston and Philadelphia areas, personally witnessed to the "rescue" movement and developed ecumenical ties from the expression of common faith in God as the Author of Life.
His pro-life activities beyond preaching and teaching on campus and in the pulpit have taken him from rescue arrests. In the mid 1980s to prayer witnessing as a priest leader in the fast-growing Helper's of God's Precious infants movement.
More recently, he is involved with Rachel's Vineyard retreats for those enduring postabortion syndrome. In 1998 he was given permission by his superiors to serve full-time in the ministry of Priests for Life.
"There is no more dangerous environment for persons than the womb," Fr. Wilde writes. "This bizarre state of a culture of death protected by law and disguised as medicine perpetuates a lie of a colossal order. Its consequence is a dead end street to baby, mother and civilization.
"Our days, brought up against this backdrop, can be foreboding. But they can be attended to by a wake-up call to act on the promise God has given us all to thwart evil and look to His Victory, already accomplished for us. A priest needs to be at the front, side and beyond his flock in this battle for life. Ours is not an option to wait for someone else to come along.
"What a joy it is to know that God is in charge and will not fail to lead us forward to end this 'unspeakable crime."'
Fr. Peter J. West has been a pro-life activist since 1986. He earned an M.A. degree in theology from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Newark in 1991.
Father West was the founder and director of Amicus, a successful Catholic young adult group for men and women in their twenties and thirties. He also has experience in working with youth as a teacher and a youth group leader.
In his pastoral ministry he has preached frequently on the topic of abortion. He has been able to dissuade women from having abortions, and has helped women who have had abortions to find healing and peace.
He spent almost seven years in pastoral ministry before being released by Archbishop McCarrick to serve with Priests for life. Fr. West began his ministry with Priests for Life on April 1, 1998. He has begun travel the country to spread the Gospel of Life. He will be speaking to groups of both priests and laity carrying out the mission of Priests for Life.
Priests for Life is also expanding its speakers' bureau of clergy and laity who travel around the country and the world to convey the pro-life message.
To schedule a Priests for Life priest to speak in your area, contact Priests for Life at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; Tel: 888-PFL-3448, 718-980-4400; Fax: 718-980-6515; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.priestsforlife.org
The information for this story was gathered from the Internet.