Volume > Issue > An Afflicter of the Comfortable & a Comforter of the Afflicted

An Afflicter of the Comfortable & a Comforter of the Afflicted

PETER CAROTA’S RADICAL WITNESS

By Alvaro Delgado | March 2023
Fr. Alvaro Delgado is Pastor of St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Stockton, California.

Years ago, I accompanied a friend of mine, Fr. Peter Carota, in the blessing of a popular Mexican restaurant in Stockton, California. With the owner’s permission, Father Peter stormed through the restaurant, table by table, dispensing holy water, as some patrons scurried for cover, a few acting like cockroaches fleeing the light. At the end of the blessing, Father Peter declared intently, passionately, boldly, and with every fiber of his being, “God is intense.”

Intense. Passionate. Never timid. Never halfway. Never lukewarm. Given to black and white, seeing few shades of gray. That was Fr. Peter Carota, who died in July 2016 at the age of 67.

Here was a priest who, three decades earlier, found himself filthy rich, working California’s central-coast areas as a real-estate broker and seller of antique furniture. How rich was he? He told one friend he could have retired in his 30s.

But Peter gave it all up, strove to live like St. Francis of Assisi, and helped found a soup kitchen and shelter for the poor and needy in Santa Cruz. In time he became a priest, leaving a profound and lasting impact on innumerable believers with his tireless dedication to serving the people of God.

Father Peter afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted. His bold and uncompromising zeal for the protection of the unborn, his defense of orthodoxy, his denunciation of sin and proclamation of the reality of Hell, and his devotion to and promotion of the Traditional Latin Mass discomfited many in the Church. And he was a thorn in the side of a world all too complacent with sin, the security of materialism, and the illusion that everyone, in the end, will go to a happy place.

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