Catholics Come Home – From Business Exec To Catholic Priest

Catholics Come Home – From Business Exec To Catholic Priest

[music]Tom Peterson:
In recent decades,
millions of people have drifted
away from Jesus
and their Catholic faith.Sadly, many may never
find their way back.
[music]I’m Tom Petersonand I believe that God
has called me
to use my background in mediato be a catalyst
in the New Evangelization.
Our organization produces
inspiring and creative
evangelization messages
that have helped lead
hundreds of thousands
of inactive Catholics,
converts, agnostics,
and atheists, home to Jesus
and His Holy Church.Join us as we travel
across North America
to bring you stories of
heartbreak, redemption,
and transformation,as the Holy Spirit leads
His people Home.
God has anextraordinary
plan for each of our lives. He wants us to spend
eternity in Heaven with Him, and bring as many people
with us as possible.This is
‘Catholics Come Home.’
Now, I welcome you to my hometo hear their amazing stories. [music] Welcome to
‘Catholics Come Home.’ In this episode, we’ll meet a man
from Charleston, South Carolina, who was raised Catholic, in the heavily
Protestant south. His father was
a tugboat captain. While an altar server
in his youth, our guest eventually drifted from his Catholic faith
during high school. After college, our guest
excelled in business as a Customs Broker and despite living a wealthy
yuppie lifestyle, our guest felt empty inside, since he never went to Mass, but God didn’t give up on him and his adventure of faith began an exciting new chapter. Like everyone else
in this series, today’s guest came Home
to the Church by responding to a call
of the Holy Spirit.I’d like you to meet
Fr Gregory West.
[music] Tom: Fr West,
welcome to our home and welcome to the program. Fr Gregory West:
Thank you very much. Tom: Viewers love hearing
about people’s childhood, where they grew up,
their family background, so let’s start with that. Tell us where you grew up. Fr West:
I was born in Charleston, during the eye of a hurricane. Tom: Oh!
Fr West: Hurricane Helene. My mother’s name was Helen. But was raised on
Sullivan’s Island, which is a beach community
in the Charleston area. The third of four children, and had a wonderful happy
beach community lifestyle, a block from our parish church. Tom: That’s pretty cool. What did your parents
do for a living? Fr West: My father
was a tugboat Captain in Charleston Harbor. Tom: A tugboat captain. You don’t hear that very often. Fr West: No. You don’t. So, Dad had a very risky
job,did that for 35 years.Mom tried her best to keep
the rest of us
in order at home.Tom:Yeah. And then,
were you raised Catholic?
Was that your
faith tradition?
Fr West:Oh, indeed so.My father came from a very
fervent Catholic family.
Tom:Good.Fr West:
Particularly because
of my grandmother, his mother.And Mom, so much so,
to a degree,
but it was really…,we relied on our father
for his faith experience
and went to Catholic school
from kindergarten,
all the way through
high school.
Tom:Fantastic.Howwas it growing up as a Catholic in the South, back in the day? And I know you’re not
that old, but it was before the South was more Catholic
like it is today. How was that and what
did you experience? Fr West: You know,
growing up in Charleston, everyone knew one another based on which parish
you belonged too. You wouldn’t ask
necessarily where you lived, but to which parish
you belonged. And we really lived
in something of a Catholic bubble because of school and sports… Tom: Sure.
Fr West: … and everything, and it wasn’t
until I branched out, and I went to a secular college that I was, became more exposed to people of other
faith traditions, particularly in Christianity. Tom:
cause your community and the guys you hung
around with and played ball with
were Catholics. Fr West:
We were
all Catholic. Exactly. Tom: That’s neat. What do you remember most about the faith traditions that Mom or in this case,
more so probably Dad, have passed on to you
and your family? Did you say grace at meals,
go to daily Mass at all, say the rosary? What are some of
those traditions? Fr West:Yes, we prayed
before meals. Sunday Mass was always
important, the 11:00 every Sunday morning. Tom: So then, pretty much
nothing else happened in your life, and you stayed Catholic and just became a priest, and that was just as simple
as that? Fr West: Exactly. [laughter]
That’s completely the map. No, by the time I was
about a junior in high school, I became less interested
in the Church, and our faith and it became
more of a class in school. Tom:Despite serving
as an altar boy for a number of years
as a young boy. Fr West:At the age of five.
Tom: Yeah. Fr West: In Latin,
back in the old days. Tom:Oh, wow.Fr West: But no,
I just wandered away, as so many young people do, and my parents did their best to, you know, encourage me, but by the time
I got to college, no, there was no
religious activity in my lifewhatsoever.Tom: For you, what
were the distractions? What were the lures? Fr West: Saturday nights,
fraternity parties, just having a good time. Tom: How novel.
Fr West:I know.Tom: I can’t believe it, you’re one of the few
who’sever done that.Fr West:
I think the first. But I just really found it; the Church had no connection
to my life. It was, you know, obsolete. It was irrelevant. I had goals, career goals. I had things to do. You know, I wanted
to do after college, like travel, and make money,
and so all those things began to happen and I thought I was
completely happy. Tom: Where did you
go to University? And what did you
choose to study? Fr West: I studied at
the College of Charleston, which is one of the oldest
schools in the country. I started off,
with Political Science, but went onto urban studies, because I was very interested
in urban planning, and transportation planning, and wanted to make cities grow. Tom: Did you go into
that for your career, or something else? Fr West: I went
into transportation, but in a different way. I, following, somewhat
in my father’s footsteps worked in the international
trade business starting off, in Charleston. Tom: Oh, and you became
a Customs Broker? Fr West: I was
a Customs Broker, yes. Tom: And did you make good
money and do well at that? Fr West: I was making
nice money for someone my age. I was, yes, and very happy. Tom: And did you
travel a bit? Fr West:I did.A company I transferred
to was having me travel across the country and
some international travel, and I wasn’t quite
yet 23-years-old. Tom: Wow! So, did you stay in Charleston for your career? Or did you end up
venturing out? Fr West:
The company I moved to eventually moved me to Atlanta and I began a branch office
at the company in Atlanta, something that people
twice my age in the company had been
vying to do. So, I was given a very
nice opportunity for career growth. Tom: Early in your career,
your business career, and you’re quite the good international businessperson. What was life like?
Did you date? Did you have nice cars,
nice things? Tell me what life
waslike back then.Fr West: I was probably
the poster child for, you know, being a yuppie, for anybody who knows
what that is. Had a nice little car,
a great apartment in Atlanta, was dating a very
nice young lady, you know, dinners out
on the weekends
and you know, dressing nicely.It all seemed to be exactly
what I was looking for.
[music] Tom: Coming up, find out what prompted this
young business executive to take a closer look
at the Catholic faith. Fr West: And one thing
led to the other and I had the realization, I think God may be calling me
to become a priest. [music] Woman: I might have
gone to church, you know, at Christmastime. Gradually quit going. Man:
Went through a divorce, and ended up being
a single parent. Man 2: And it was
an easy excuse. I took the easy out
and just didn’t go to Mass. Man 3: When you come Home
to the Church, you’re coming Home
to a Catholic family where people today
just embrace you. Woman 2: I have a peace when I walk through the doors of the Catholic Church,
like that’s where I belong. Announcer [male]:
If you’ve been away from the Catholic Church, for whatever reason, we invite you to take
another look. Visit
today. [music] Tom: Fr West, you were the
young urban professional, with a nice car,
nice things, a girlfriend, great apartment. International business career. Life was good, so that was it. That was the end of the story? Fr West: Not quite. A number of other
things were going on. By this time, I found
my way back to Church. Tom: Praise God.
Fr West: Indeed. Tom: How did that happen? Fr West: A very good
friend of mine, a high school
and college classmate had invited me to go to
Stations of the Cross with her, when I was still living
in Charleston and I hesitated,
but eventually went. And then, she invited me
to join the parish choir, because they needed a baritone
and I did and… Tom: Yeah,
you fit that well. Yeah. Fr West: You know, so… Tom: God bless her
for inviting you. Fr West: Yeah. Indeed. Tom: And we remind our viewers
that 90% of the people, who have come Home, because of
Catholics Come Home, will say, “Because somebody invited me.” Fr West: Precisely. Tom: Critical to evangelization
the invitation, and look, we have a priest
in our midst today, because somebody invited you. So, continue, Father. Fr West: So, I was,
I had moved to Atlanta, and was going to daily Mass
at this point and… Tom: Oh wow!
You ramped up quickly. Praise God!
Fr West: Exactly. I was hungrier
and I was realizing how much I had missed out on that I was now approaching
the faith as an adult, who had life questions
and the Church was where I was finding those. While all this was going on, my father was diagnosed
with cancer. Tom: Oh. Fr West: And in the course
of 18 months, shrank, you know,
into a small person and died at the age of 57 and that was a big wakeup
call for me. That was God using
the megaphone to ask me; where is this going? Tom: Yeah. Fr West:
Where’s your life going? Tom: Life isn’t all
just about this. Fr West: It’s not. Tom: This is just the
beginning of the story. Fr West: Precisely. And so, I was having flashbacks to when I was
about 6, 7, 8 years-old, playing Mass as a kid
in the neighborhood. Tom: Oh, wow!
Fr West: Yeah. I tried to convert
the Southern Baptist girls across the street,
which I almost did. [laughter] Tom: It’s not
too late, Father. [laughter] Fr West: But, I just began to
ask myself that question, where are you going? You’ve got everything,
but the shoes seemed like they were on the wrong feet. Tom: Yeah. Fr West:
And thrown to that mix, I had traveled to Rome, just a couple of years earlier, before my father died, and stepping
into St Peter’s Basilica for the very first
time in my life, I was overwhelmed. I was at the center
of history. I was at the center
of the world, at the crosswords
of everything. Tom: Yeah. Fr West: And I was just
completely taken aback by the richness of our faith,
the depth of our faith, the millions of people
who had gone before me to build this monument
and what it stands for, and everything we know about
in Scripture, was all right there, and that beautiful
magnificent place was the beginning of a big
return to the Church. Tom: You know
what’s interesting. You had mentioned
the history. It’s cool how God
customizes His, oh… lures, sales pitch,
attractiveness, you know, puts the meal out for us. Because, He knew
you were a guy who loved history;
that was part of who you were. So, He used those things
to help say, “Come Home, My son.” Fr West: Exactly.
Tom: That’s fantastic.And what He does for you
is different
than what He does
for the next guy.
Fr West: Precisely. Tom:Knowing that
this is the way, this is what interests you, this is what warms your heart. For me, it was using
advertising to serve in evangelization,
and in pro-life. For you, it was
the historical aspect. Continue on, with your
story and your journey. Fr West: A good
friend’s brother had joined the seminary and I was just fascinated
why Mark, who is a “normal guy,” would go to the seminary and what, you know,
it just seemed abnormal. What waswrongwith him?Tom: Bite your tongue.
[laughs] Fr West:But, justso many
questions about his, you know, what
was he studying and…? Tom:It intrigued you.Fr West: It really did and I began to read more about what other people
were doing, and so, I again, was asking
myself that question. You know, where are you
supposed to be going? And by this time
I picked up Thomas Merton’s
‘Seven Storey Mountain.’ Tom: Ah! Fr West:
Which was written for me. Tom: Oh yeah. Fr West: And one thing
led to the other and I had the realization, I think God may be calling me
to become a priest. Tom:How old were you?Fr West:
I was 25-years-old. Tom: And what did
the girlfriend think about all this? Fr West:
She didn’t know a word. I didn’t share it. It was such
a bizarre thought. I didn’t share it,
but with two people. Two people in the world knew. Nobody in my family, because it was just too
out of the ballpark kind of thought. Tom: At this point?
Fr West: Exactly. So, one thing
led to the other and I discerned and prayed, and finally,
I got to the point where I asked myself
the question you either have got to go find out if this is of God
or is this of the devil? Tom:Right.Fr West: So, I began the application process
quietly, with my own home diocese. Ad was accepted, and then, I had to drop the bomb of news
with all the people I knew in my life.
Tom: Sure. Fr West: And the young
woman I was seeing, we went to Sunday Mass Easter and I was going to tell her
at brunch, and we sat down, and I said, “There’s something I have
to tell you.” And she said, “Stop.
Let me tell you. You’re thinking of becoming
a priest, aren’t you?” Tom: Boy, isn’t God good,
how He works? Fr West: And after I had
picked myself up off the floor, I thought, how could you
possibly know that? There was no way for
her to know that… Tom: Right.
Fr West: …from anybody else. She said,
“I’ve seen you at Mass.” She was not a Catholic. “And you levitate during Mass.” And, I didn’t know
what that meant, but apparently I had
by that point made such a strong
profound connection to the sacrifice of the Mass and I didn’t even know
really what it was. Tom:
Right, and Praise God, you’re bringing a non-Catholic
to Mass with you. That was awesome too.
Fr West: Indeed. So, all of my family, they
were all a little shocked, but very surprised and… Tom: Cause, they knew you.
[laughs] Fr West: They knew me
and they knew my background, but could not be
more supportive. Tom:Praise God.Fr West:
They were delighted.Tom:So, tell us about
your seminary years,
where you went to seminary,and how your faith grew.Fr West:I was assigned to
Mount St Mary’s Seminary
in Emmetsburg, Maryland.Tom:Great school.
Holy school.
Fr West:You’re right.Second oldest seminary
in the country, home of Mother Anne Seton. Tom: Praise God. Fr West:
Elizabeth Anne Seton. I called it
‘Boot Camp For Jesus.’ Tom: [laughs] Yes. Fr West:
It was so crowded, the first 2 years
we had to have roommates. Tom: Isn’t that a nice
problem to have? Fr West: It didn’t seem
to me, at the time, because here I had had
this career and now I was living
in a bunk bed with a man from Peru who didn’t speak
very good English. Tom: It’s about time we
get humbled as business guys. Fr West: Right. And I just remember waking up about 30 days
into the seminary process, and thinking, what have I done? I don’t deserve to be here. I shouldn’t be here. These men are all so holy
and smart and know the faith so richly. Tom: So, not as much looking
back as what you gave up, but saying, I’m not worthy. Fr West: I can’t do this.
I can’t do this. You know, just, just…but
that was the other side trying to convince me… Tom: Of course.
Fr West: …to run. Tom: So, what discernment,
advice, prayers did you to realize that it was your place
to be there? Fr West: Just little
whispers from the Almighty. Tom: Yeah.
Fr West: You know. Tom:
The still small voice. Fr West: Things began to
feel more comfortable and I became more intrigued
by the studies, and being open to areas
of the faith on levels that I had never
been exposed to was just, was fascinating
and enriching, and certainly I knew
that I was there to be trained to become
a priest. So, you know, the professional
side of things as well. Tom: Fantastic. So, what was your
first assignment? And how did…, how was it when you first
celebrated a Mass? Tell us about that. Fr West: I was ordained
at our cathedral of St John the Baptist in Charleston. Tom: Oh, beautiful. Fr West: Which I was
assigned the first 2 years of my priesthood. Tom: Oh! Fantastic. Fr West: And the bishop made me
his Master of Ceremonies which was, I thought,
very funny. Tom: Right away.
That’s amazing. Fr West:
Right away, which… Tom: Wow! Did he just need a tall guy with a baritone voice? Fr West: With a little slight
type A personality. Tom: You think? [laughs] Fr West:
Just a little bit. Tom:
It takes one to know one. Fr West: Sothen,
after 2 years there, he sent me to Rome to study
Canon Law, which I did
at the Pontifical
Gregorian University.
Tom:That’s impressive.Yeah, you’ve got the DNA
and the brainpower for it.
Fr West:Well,
he told me in March,
that I would be going
to study Canon Law
in Rome that Fall and I said,
“Well, Bishop,
I don’t speak Italian.
They teach in Italian.”
Tom:Oh.Fr West:He said,
“Oh, but you will.”
Tom:Oh, wow!Fr West:So, two months
to learn Italian.
Tom:No pressure, huh?Fr West:Yeah.
Tom:Two months?Fr West:Two months.
Tom: Wow. Fr West: Yeah.
So, finished the degree. Came back and he assigned
me to start a parish. I had never built
a birdhouse. Tom: Start a Parish? Not just go to a Parish?
Start one? Fr West: Correct. There was a small
faith communitythere,a small parish,but it was expected
to grow exponentially,
because there was a new
retirement community
that was going
to be kicking off.
Tom:And what area
is that of?
Fr West:It was in
a place called Bluffton,
South Carolina.
Tom:Oh yeah.I know Bluffton well,
near Hilton Head, yeah. Beautiful area and very high
growth right now. Fr West: I had 90 people
when I got there, 5300 when I left and I think they claim about 10,000 members
in that parish now. Tom: Wow! Fr West: And so,
that was my first gig. Tom: Yeah.
Fr West: And then, went to the upstate
of South Carolina, for all of you,
the Clemson fans. Tom: Yeah. Fr West:
I was happy to be there. And then, now I’m in… back home in Charleston where I started a parish
5 years ago named St Clare of Assisi.And then,
almost 2 years ago,
was also given Pastorshipof St Mary
of the Annunciation,
the oldest parish in the
southeastern United States.
Tom:Wow!Fr West:Cause,
I was getting bored,
starting a new parish.So, I thought that
I’d just throw
a little bit more
onto the fire.
Tom:You’re Type A
and you needed more work.
Fr West:Right.Tom:
So, you have a parish
in the heart of
historical Charleston,
and another one
on Daniel Island
with, which is
your expansion par…
and you’re building a parish.Fr West:Correct.
Tom:I see.Fr West:Yeah, and we
hope to break ground
thisDecember and… Tom: Let me ask you this; when you celebrated Mass
for the first time, coming out of Mount St Mary’s, what was that experience like? Fr West: Oh, my gosh! I was nervous
as a long tailed cat in a room full
of rocking chairs. [laughter] That’s a bit
of a southern expression. Tom: Just say it
in the Southern, I was going to say,
you’ve got a few of those. Fr West: Yeah.
I wanted to make sure I did everything correctly, you know,
following all the rubrics, but it was also that feeling, standing there at the altar, I can’t believe I’m doing this. Tom: Yeah.
Fr West: I can’t believe I have the privilege, I can’t believe that God
has chosen me. Tom:In Persona Christi,
in the Person
of Christ to celebrate the Mass. Fr West: The words that
I’m about to say are going to change this bread,
this wine into the Second Person
of the Holy Trinity. Oh my God!
Tom: Yeah, literally. Fr West:
And it was; I don’t remember much
of my first Mass, because I was so pulled into, you know,
the transcendental nature of everything
that was going on. Tom:Praise God!How was it to be
in the
confessional, the sacrament of reconciliation for the first time
on the other side? Fr West: Oh, I
remember thinking… don’t mess up. [laughter] You know, be gentle. You know, say the right things. And, you know, you’re not
here to save the world and have the heart of Jesus. Tom:Mercy, huh?Fr West:
Exactly, and I hope
that that’s the way
it’s always been.
Tom: Coming up, you’ll
find out what helps Fr West to be a vibrant pastor
and a holy priest. Fr West: We’re here
for Jesus Christ. We’re here
for the Eucharist. We’re here for all
of the sacraments. We’re here for the truth
that He has revealed to us, that is the custodianship
of the Church. [music] Announcer:For 2000 years,our family has celebrated lifeand prayed for our world.We cared for the poor,
started hospitals,
blessed marriages,and educated
generations of children.
Guided by the Holy Spirit,
we compiled the Bible.
We are the Catholic Church.With over one billion in
our family in the Church
started by Jesus.If you’ve been away,come Home to your parishand visit
today. [music] Tom: Fr West, we thank you
for your priesthood. We praise God that you’re
a good and holy priest and we need more at this time, in salvation history,
more than ever. I’m always curious
to ask priests, what do you see as a need
in your parish, among your two parishes
you serve? What are people
struggling with and how do you help people in spiritual direction
and what kind of advice do you generally give, that seems to help people
the most? Fr West: Overall,
I believe we need to really
pick up some speed on evangelization, within the pews,
within the walls. We have wonderful,
loving dear people, who don’t necessarily know
what the faith teaches. Tom: Or that we’re called
to share the faith. Fr West:Correct.
Tom: Yeah. Fr West: And I also
have experienced, so many have, that there are
people who are there, but it’s only because
they’re there. Tom: Right. Fr West: That they haven’t
really nurtured, or even started a true deep
personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Tom: More of
a cultural experience. I know I’m supposed
to go to Mass. I don’t want to get in trouble
by not going, but… Fr West: Right. You’re a little
disconnected, you know. The signal is just a little… but so, to evangelize
the Masses, and then, to do
everything possible to help them to appreciate
a personal relationship with Jesus through the Church,
and within the sacraments. Tom: Praise God. Fr West:And once
come to that point, their hearts are just set
on fire, as mine has been. Tom: Yeah. Fr West: And once
that fire has started, there’s no putting it out. So, I think
that’s the plan that we need to take a look at. Tom:I often say
the Holy Spirit is the least utilized
in the Blessed Trinity. We rarely talk about Him,
but Jesus says, “I must descend to send you
the Paraclete, the advocate, the Holy Spirit
to be your guide.” We need Him more at this day
and age than ever before, and yet, very few people know
the Holy Spirit, let alone have
a relationship with Him. Fr West: Exactly. And with the significant
cultural changes we’re seeing
in this day and age, there’s no greater need than life in the Holy Spirit
these days. You know, that fire of truth,
that fire of hope, that fire of knowing
Who God is and what it is He wants for us
as a human race. Tom:When you speak
about Evangelization,
I know you know something
about ‘Catholics Come Home’ and other apostolates out there. What things do you like most about the New Evangelization? And what things do you share
with your parish community, how important it is for them to be comfortable sharing
with others? Fr West:
That’s exactly it, Tom. That this is not something
that is to come only from Father or from Sister
or from the Deacon or even from the Bishop. It’s all the documents
of the Second Vatican Council, in one way
or the other point to. This is the role of the laity. We’re all in this together.
Tom: Yep. Fr West: You know, it’s not
a top down methodology. And so, everyone needs
to be equipped to be evangelized and to be able to evangelize. We’re doing that in both
of my parishes, one more than the other,
we started a while back in one parish and it’s really beginning
to take root and people understand
what it means, and then, they develop that desire. Tom: Because, they’re
in the workplace. They’re in the neighborhood,
where you aren’t, and only some of us laity have
the ability to then, help evangelize others
around us. Fr West: Exactly. And, you know,
there are people who will maybe want to
back off a little bit and say, ‘Well, I don’t want
to impose my beliefs on other people.’
Tom: Right, yeah. Fr West: Well, we all
believe that murder is wrong. We all believe that
stealing is wrong. There are just certain
standards in the human existence that can’t be challenged. Is that imposing one’s beliefs? No, it’s sharing
what life should be. Tom: And as I say, when I
start my parish missions, the 3 night missions,
I’ll often say, if you went to a great
vacation destination, if you met the person
of your dreams that you were going to marry, if you had a particularly great
dinner at a restaurant, wouldn’t you want to share
this good news with others? And yet, we’re timid
about sharing the best news in the world, the Good News of Jesus, and how He’s transformed
our lives for eternity. Why would we be shy
about sharing that? Fr West: Exactly.
Tom: Yeah. Father, let’s talk a little bit about the challenges now
on sharing the faith. We have a new scandal
that has broken and I’d like your thoughts
and comments now on why people are maybe
a little timid about speaking about faith now, when we really need to do that
more than ever, with love and humility. Fr West: Exactly.
You know, these months, this last round of scandals
has been publicized, have yet again, been difficult for everyone
in the Church, all of us,
especially us priests. You know, wearing
a Roman collar in public, you get the look, you know. Tom:But thank you
for doing that
, and not being afraid to do that. Fr West: “They will hate
you because of Me,” you know. Tom: Yeah. Fr West: So, we just go on. We must go on, and anyone
who is a student of history knows that the Church has its
ups and it has its downs. Every 500 years,
there’s a major correction. Tom: And not necessarily
the Church and never the teaching,
but the people. Fr West: Right.
Tom: Yeah. Fr West: So, this is a bit
of a low point for us right now, but God’s in charge. This is His Church. We’re going to make it
through this and we have to remain positive. We pray for all the victims and we arehopefully the Churchis doing everything possible…Tom:And even pray
for the conversion
of the perpetrators.We can’t just throw
them out and say
‘the heck with those guys.’We need to pray
for their conversion.
Fr West:
But this helps us
to ask ourselves
the questions too.
Why are we here?We’re here for Jesus Christ.We’re here for
the Eucharist.
We’re here forall
of the sacraments. We’re here for the truth
that He has revealed to us, that is the custodianship
of the Church. That’s why we are here. We’re not here because
some bishop made a mistake or Father So-and-So
did what he did. Tom: No, and there
is no second best. You know, it’s like
the apostles in John 6, when He, you know,
talks about the Eucharist. Well, where shall we go? I mean, some thought it
was cannibalism and went the other way,
and others said you know, “What do I do?” And He says, “Truly, you must eat of My Flesh
and drink of My Blood, or you will not have life
within you.” And He didn’t change it
to a symbol. It really is Jesus. Fr West: We do not abandon
Jesus because of Judas. You know, with scandals
in our government, we don’t run off
and become Canadian. Tom: No.
Fr West: We stayed, because this is
where we need to be. Tom: Amen.
Father, I thank you for your strong priesthood. I thank you for
your deep faith. I thank those seeds
that your priest planted in you as an altar boy, your father and mother
planted in you. I thank God for that friend, who invited you
to Stations of the Cross all those years go. We’re so thankful you
said ‘Yes’ to Jesus, that you’re a vibrant holy
priest, in Charleston, with two parishes, no less, and I’m looking forward
to hearing what the next chapter is
in that.Father, welcome Home.Fr West:
Thank you so much, Tom. [music] Katie: If you’ve followed
this show for a while, then you probably
heard my dad, Tom Peterson, use the term
‘downsize & simplify’ an idea he became
intimately familiar with during his reversion
to the Catholic faith. When I was a little girl, after a life-changing retreat, in which he heard the Lord
speaking to his heart to downsize and simplify, he left his lucrative
advertising career to begin working in ministry. First by founding the
Pro-life media apostolate, ‘Virtue Media’ and later starting
‘Catholics Come Home.’ Those of us looking
for more peace in our lives and our homes
could always benefit from downsizing
and simplifying in some way. Here are a few ideas
on how to downsize and simplify in your own life.You can Downsize & Simplify
your material goods.
Maybe you could benefit from
clearing out your closet
and donating some
of the clothes
you don’t need to people
who do need them
or maybe you can look around
your home or office
for other material possessionsthat you to have in excess.You can downsize and
simplify your calendar.
Perhaps your schedule
needs some downsizing
and simplifying to makemore time for your family,for prayer, or for hobbies
that you’d like to pursue.
You can downsize
and simplify your meals.
Have you considered
downsizing and simplifying
your meals from time to time,either in an effort
to become healthier
or to fast for someonewho needs your spiritual
support right now?
Spend time in prayer
about other ways you can downsize and simplify
in your life right now, picking one strategy, and then, following through
with it. With downsizing and
simplifying comes great peace.St Augustine said,[music] Tom:Here’s your chanceto get active in
the New Evangelization.
Visit the
websiteand click on the Shop tab.Here you can order a
‘Catholics Come Home’ book,
Evangelization cards,a DVD of the Evangomercials,
or a car magnet.
If you or someone you knowhas come Home to the Church,thanks in part to
‘Catholics Come Home,’
let us know.Or, if you have a comment,
or want to support our mission,email us at[email protected]or write to us
at Catholics Come Home,
PO Box 1802,Roswell, Georgia 30077.Like us on Facebook,
and follow us on Twitter.
[music] Tom: During his youth, Gregory grew up as a Catholic
in Charleston. He abandoned his faith
during high school, and pursued a lucrative international business career
after college. Gregory had time for
luxury cars, apartments, fine food,
and a serious girlfriend, but still felt empty
since he lacked faith. But God drew this lost
son Home to Jesus, back to his Catholic faith,
and into the priesthood. Now, Fr West
is a beloved pastor of two vibrant parishes
in the Charleston area. Thank you for joining
us on this episode of ‘Catholics Come Home.’ Please keep Fr West
and his parish communities in your prayers. Remember to fulfill your role
in the new evangelization, and help love somebody
to Heaven. Male Singer:
I’ve gotta love
Somebody to HeavenI’ve gotta love
somebody …

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