Father Peter Carota, who passed away on July 8 in Escalon, will be buried at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery located just behind St. Patrick’s Church in Ripon where he served as pastor for a decade until four years ago.
“He requested that,” a staff at the Diocese of Stockton office said about the late pastor’s final wishes. “He also requested that there will be no reception.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, July 15, at the Cathedral of the Annunciation, 425 W. Magnolia St. in Stockton at 10 a.m. Immediately following the Mass will be a procession from the cathedral to the cemetery, at 19399 E. Highway 120 in Ripon, where a gravesite service will be held.
Tonight at the cathedral, “reception of the body” will be at 5 p.m. followed by the praying of the rosary at 6 p.m. and vigil at 7 p.m.
The funeral Mass on Friday will be in English with the “songs he wanted” and scripture readings Father Carota himself selected, added the diocesan staff. All priests in the diocese, “after they are ordained, are required” to file these information with the diocese in case of emergency or death. When that happens, “all we do is look at their records and follow everything they asked (including) who they want to speak” at the funeral service, she said.
Born in Santa Cruz, Father Carota, 67, was one of 19 children, according to information provided by Deegan Funeral Home in Ripon. He was preceded in death by his mother, Estelle Field-Carota, who passed away two years ago, and brothers Charles, Joseph, and John, a funeral home staff said from details provided by the late pastor’s family. He is survived by his father Mario, brothers Emmanuel, Michael, Paul, Benedict, Vincent, Gregory, Lawrence, David, Mark, James, and Mario, as well as sisters Mary, Martha, Marie, and Louise.
In lieu of flowers, memorials or special thanks can be sent to The Sisters of the Cross, 1320 Maze Blvd., Modesto, CA 95351.
Father Carota started the Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays at 6:30 a.m. five years after he became pastor at St. Patrick’s. After he left four years ago to start his sabbatical to fulfill a lifelong dream of starting a Catholic church television station that would air the Latin Mass every day, he began posting his blog, Traditional Catholic Priest, until his illness. A friend kept the blog running when he became too ill to continue. While at St. Patrick’s, he also hosted a radio program in Spanish out of Stockton.
Ordained on May 24, 1997, Father Carota attended Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon. Prior to his assignment at St. Patrick’s, he served as assistant pastor at St. George Parish in Stockton, St. Jude Parish in Ceres, Our Lady of Fatima in Modesto, and St. Catherine of Sienna in Phoenix, Arizona. For many years, he also did missionary work in Malinasco, Mexico. At St. Patrick’s in Ripon, he built the Chapel of the Holy Angels next to the rectory “through prayer, sacrifice and the help of the (parish) community.” Under his watch, the parish also purchased the 22-acre property next to the chapel in anticipation of the church’s future expansion, or when Highway 120 would be widened thereby affecting the present church building.
Father Carota attended Watsonville High School and graduated from Carleton University in Canada. Prior to entering the seminary as a late vocation, he was a successful Realtor in Santa Cruz. He also served as a missionary in Brazil. While living in Santa Cruz, he started the St. Francis Catholic Soup Kitchen as well as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Housing Shelter. It was his work with the poor which planted the seed for his late vocation, he said in an interview with the Manteca Bulletin shortly before his sabbatical. As a volunteer, he was often mistaken as a priest by many of the people he met and served.
One website described Father Carota as “a good priest and shepherd of his flock that sacrificed his life for the poor, the sick and the marginalized.”