On June 3, Archbishop José H. Gomez will ordain eight new priests for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
The Class of 2023 has heard God calling them in the ups and downs of their professional careers, family lives, and the quiet intimacy of eucharistic adoration.
In the days leading up to their ordination, we’ll be introducing a new soon-to-be Father. Los Angeles, meet your new priests!
Hometown: Pasadena, California
Home parish: St. Philip the Apostle Church, Pasadena
Parish assignment: St. John Vianney Church, Hacienda Heights
Michael DiPietro likes to invoke a St. Charles de Foucauld quote when talking about his call to priesthood: “The moment I realized God existed, I knew I could not do otherwise than to live for him alone.”
Having grown up in a very Catholic household, DiPietro had thoughts of becoming a priest as early as eighth grade, but the road was not as direct as the Foucauld quote would have you believe.
“He was speaking about a particular moment that transformed his life entirely,” DiPietro said. “That’s not my case. But for me, it was more of a gradual unveiling of who God was and who God is. And as I began to grow in a deeper relationship with God through prayer, that’s when it became more and more clear that this is someone who I needed to devote and dedicate my entire life toward.”
DiPietro was born and raised in Pasadena, the sixth of eight children in a devout Catholic family. His parents passed down to their children the significance of faith and a deeper understanding of living out your beliefs in a secular world.
Being part of a large Catholic family also shaped his sense of humility.
“A lot of the pitfalls that one might expect around high school years were naturally taken care of,” said DiPietro. “It’s very hard for us to take ourselves too seriously when you have seven other siblings ready to make fun of you for taking yourself too seriously.”
After first having an inkling of being a priest in eighth grade, true discernment didn’t come for DiPietro until after graduating from St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge and moving to Michigan to attend Hillsdale College, where he found a Catholic community at the college that helped him grow in his faith, lean on prayer, and pray the rosary daily.
But still the question lingered: Am I supposed to be a priest?
He remembered the day he got his answer. It was a Monday, a rare day off from classes. DiPietro realized it had been about a year since he last made a Holy Hour. During adoration, DiPietro abandoned himself to God’s will and made a new prayer.
“I said, ‘God, it doesn’t matter to me whether I’m supposed to be a priest or married. The only thing that matters to me is that I’m close to you,’ ” DiPietro said. What followed, he recalled, was a certain clarity that made him see that the “trajectory” of his life was pointing toward the priesthood.
“I have followed that road ever since,” he said.
DiPietro graduated from Hillsdale in 2014 with a double major in accounting and philosophy/religion. He worked for a year in accounting, paid off his student loans, then entered St. John’s Seminary in 2015.
He described his approach to ministry simply: Serving God first, and letting everything else “fall into place.”
“Our Lord so desperately desires a relationship with us that all we need to do is make ourselves available,” he believes. “If we give God the time — 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour, whatever it might be — he will take it from there. And if we do that on a somewhat regular basis, it will become transformative for us.”