Priest heads south after lengthy career in western Maryland

After his father died, Father Gerald F. LaPorta suggested to his mother, “Let’s go someplace where it’s warmer.” Together they left western Maryland and settled in Little River, S.C., a part of north Myrtle Beach. Celebrating 50 years as a priest, Father LaPorta said he likes the town very much.
Although his mother died in 1999, the priest remains in the south where he now lives with his brother, also a priest. The LaPorta boys are natives of Frostburg and grew up as parishioners of St. Michael.
After ordination, Father LaPorta first served St. Peter the Apostle, Oakland, before moving onto six more assignments: St. Joseph, Sykesville; chaplain at Springfield Hospital Center, Sykesville; St. John the Evangelist, Frederick, for 13 years where he also taught high school; a return to St. Peter; St. Patrick, Cumberland; and retired as pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation, Lonaconing, where he served 13 years.
Father LaPorta admits to days of a challenging priesthood in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, he said, the environment has changed and he “sees things greatly improving in the priesthood today – new growth of spirituality, stronger alliance of teachings of the church and Holy Father; and a strong devotion to the blessed sacrament.”
In spite of retirement, Father LaPorta still works full-time as one of four priests at Our Lady Star of the Sea, S.C.
“Every time I hear confession,” he said, “I see the necessity and goodness and wonderful work that priests perform, in that sacrament of bringing God’s goodness and grace to individuals who cry out for help.”

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.