Meet the Chaplain: Fr. Anthony Giampietro – San Francisco Chapter
Father Anthony Giampietro, a priest of the Congregation of St. Basil, serves as development director for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He has spoken and written on a broad range of issues, including Catholic bioethics, marriage and family life, and the Catholic intellectual tradition. Father Giampietro, 56, who was ordained in 1993, has spent half of his priestly life teaching in academia. He is the ninth of 11 children. His late father, Alexander Giampietro, was an internationally known artist and longtime professor at the Catholic University of America. Father Giampietro spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.
What are your duties as development director for the archdiocese?
I help people to understand the good works of the archdiocese and to encourage their financial support. I oversee the archdiocesan annual appeal and the priests’ retirement luncheon. In the past year, I’ve been cultivating what’s called the archbishop’s circle of donors — donors who are particularly committed to the archdiocese, to their parishes, to their annual appeal amounts, and who are prepared to do something over and above that. These donors give particular help to the archbishop in whatever areas he feels are important that particular year, whether it’s vocations, education or Hispanic ministry.
When did you discern you were called to be a priest?
For me, it was after my freshman year of college that it first entered my mind. It was not something that I immediately pursued. It wasn’t until after I graduated from college, and then I was in banking for a couple of years. That’s when I decided to pursue it.
How important is education for the Church’s mission?
Catholic education in general is vital, not only to the Church but to our society. More and more, it’s clear that we must take faith seriously. There are too many discussions about the role of faith in politics, the role of faith in international questions, whether it’s immigration or health care. We must take faith seriously, and the Catholic intellectual tradition has such conviction that good reasoning does not contradict authentic faith. All traditions — including secular atheism — can benefit from an encounter with that tradition.
As the ninth of 11 children, what was it like growing up on the younger end of the spectrum?
I really looked up to my older brothers and sisters. We’d have big meals around the table. For my parents, they really counted on the older children to help raise the younger children. It was a wonderful community of family.
Every single one of the 11 children is a practicing Catholic. My father combined many qualities that were attractive to us and to his students. He would invite professors over from the university where he taught, and my mother would cook a delicious meal. My father invited them over because he wanted to learn from people who knew more about some subject than he did. It was a joyful environment in which we combined family life, healthy intellectual conversation and delicious food.
How long have you been affiliated with Legatus?
I came to know Legatus in Houston about 10 years ago. Archbishop Cordileone asked me to be the chaplain of the San Francisco group, which has been quite wonderful. I think Legatus represents a tremendous initiative. We need people, laity, living their faith quietly, sometimes vocally, in politics, in business, in so many ways.
What are your hobbies and interests?
The love of my life used to be basketball, and from time to time I still play. I also love good movies, but I do pay attention to sports because there’s something about sports where it’s all out there. There is no hiding. Either you make a play or you don’t.
BRIAN FRAGA is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.