Medjugorge Trip Influenced Vocation Decision – Anthony Gargotta

2001 News

 Rev. Anthony Gargotta of Pittsburgh is the son of Mary Ann Dzesa and the late Joseph Gargotta. He received an associate of science degree in radiation from Community College of Allegheny County and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Duquesne University. He is a 1980 graduate of Seton LaSalle High School. He received a Master of Arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 2000, in addition to the Master of Divinity degree the same year. He also received the Seminary Diakonia Award in 2000.

This article is from The Pittsburgh Catholic, June 1, 2001.

By John Franko

PITTSBURGH — Anthony Gargotta thought about the seminary growing up, but he always managed to put the subject out of his mind. It took a trip to Medjugorge a decade ago to rekindle the spirit within him.

He want back to his job as a radiation therapist, but his thoughts about the seminary kept coming back. He began to attend daily Mass and pray the Rosary.

“When I missed a day or two I felt my life supply line was being cut off,” he said.

He joined the affiliate program at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton in 1993. He said he had an idea of what seminary life was like, but he found it to be much different from what he had expected. He realized the seminarians were just like him.

He entered St. Paul’s formation program in the fall of 1995. Two years later he went on to Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe where he completed his studies.

Father Gargotta said the support of his fellow seminarians was a vital part of his seminary experience. He spoke of the importance of being able to knock on someone’s door and have them lend an understanding ear.

He also noted the importance of prayer which he said will sustain him in his life of ministry.

“I really can’t do this on my own if my prayer life backs off,” he said.

Father Gargotta received his summer and weekend experience at St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair. He said he was fortunate to be able to serve under Father Tom Kredel, pastor. “I couldn’t have had a better teacher than him.”

He said he is excited, yet humbled by the thought of serving the Lord. He looks forward to administering the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and reconciliation.

His advice to those contemplating a life in ministry is to receive the Eucharist as much as possible, pray the rosary and talk honestly with religious.

He spoke of a number of people who influenced his vocation, including Father Carl Gentile, former pastor of his home parish of St. Catherine of Siena in Pittsburgh’s Beechview section. The priest is now pastor of St. John Fisher in Churchhill.

“I wanted to be like him as a priest,” he said.

Father Gargotta is the third member of the Seton-La Salle High School class of 1980 to be ordained to the diocesan presbyterate. He joins Fathers David Bonnar and Daniel Maurer.

Father Gargotta is the son of Mary Ann Gargotta and the late Joseph Gargotta.