Fr. Peter was born in Spirano, Italy in 1936. He is one of 10 children, of which only eight survived past childhood. In 1946 the Comboni Missionaries visited his town and shared pictures and stories about the life of a missionary priest. That is when Fr. Peter first became interested in becoming a missionary. “I was 10-years old, I wanted to see the lions,” Fr. Peter said jokingly. From that point on he kept in contact with the Comboni Missionaries to learn more about their work.
At age 11 he went into the seminary. His oldest brother was already a priest. Later on, a younger brother and younger sister joined the Salesians.
In 1955 Fr. Peter was sent to the United States to finish his novitiate and schooling. He was ordained in 1962. During his time in the United States Fr. Peter worked at parishes in Monroe, Mich., Irwindale, Calif. and Cincinnati, Ohio. Finally, in 1974 he got to go abroad and worked in Uganda, where he stayed until 2005. While in Uganda, Fr. Peter did just about everything a missionary does. Mostly, he served as a priest for various parishes.
Fr. Peter was in Uganda during the violent reign of Idi Amin, and the turbulent times after. He was shot at five times, and described surviving the last shooting as nothing less than a miracle. He was ambushed while driving a car and 12 bullets ripped through his vehicle, Fr. Peter remained unharmed.
His fondest memory of working as a missionary is being with the people. “I learned from them that you can do without a lot of things that are taken for granted,” he said. “They are always very appreciative of you.”
Fr. Peter said he would happily return to Uganda if the opportunity allows itself. For now, he is happy to be in Cincinnati.