HERNDON, Virginia, May 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Famed Catholic author Michael D. O’Brien told the 175 pro-life leaders and supporters gathered at LifeSiteNews’ 15th anniversary gala on Saturday that the pro-life and pro-family news agency plays an “irreplaceable” role in the ongoing war between good and evil facing our culture.

“It is a commonplace that we are involved in a great war, … a war that will last until the end of time,” O’Brien said in an invocation as the evening opened. The native of Combermere, Ontario, has authored numerous popular Catholic novels, including Father Elijah and Island of the World.

“Our work, based in a deeper and higher and broader understanding of the nature of reality, entails a great deal of sacrifice, always,” he observed. “Many tests will try our faith in God. But at every moment we must keep in mind that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the victor.”

At the same time, though, he said there are still “battles to come … in the final stages of this war” and at this stage “LifeSiteNews’ portion of the war is irreplaceable.”

O’Brien noted that he has been a regular reader of LifeSiteNews for ten years, knows many of the journalists personally, and is a close friend of Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen.

“I am constantly marveling over the particular grace that has been given to [the LifeSiteNews team],” he said.

Generating much laughter O’Brien said, dramatically placing his face down in his hands, “My temperament, being of the melancholic Irish sort … tends to say, ‘Oh, I don’t think I can read everything on LifeSite today’.” His audience understood his gesture very well given the often heavy nature of LifeSiteNews stories.

But, he said, LifeSiteNews’ journalists “have a grace to look at the configuration of the struggle for life, on many levels, the many dimensions of this struggle.”

“LifeSiteNews is able to present the truth on a number of these dimensions, not just the purely political, not just the social, cultural, but many, many aspects,” he continued. “Of what it is to be alive in this age and this time. And they do it with courage. And they do it with something in their hearts that I believe could only be a gift from God.”

“I’m very impressed by the LifeSite team and their dedication to real research—really, really taking extreme pains to get to the truth of things, not for the sake of scandal, but in that spirit that says the truth shall set us free,” he added.

“LifeSite wishes to inform in a way that does not violate the dignity, not only of the most vulnerable in society, but even the dignity of our enemies, those who declare themselves at war with us,” he said. “This is the measure of their greatness, the measure of their commitment to praying before they act. This is the measure of the authenticity of their mission.”

The author ended by asking the leaders and supporters who were gathered to pray for LifeSite as the news agency continues its mission of truth.

“I ask you above all things - of course, of course, of course, we always need to ask for money, that goes without saying - but above all, above all, we are not just about an activist enterprise here,” he said. “Above all is the need for you to be praying for those who bring the truth integrated with love … to the public forum, where people may hear the truth that sets us free, a portion of the truth which is being denied to the mass of human beings in our times.”

“Pray for them. Pray for these people who are on the front lines. This is our greatest need from you. Your prayer and if possible your sacrifice,” he added.