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 | Keishla Espinal

St. Rita Sends a Message of Welcome to Families and Individuals Who Need Hope

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A statue of St. Rita now welcomes people in Dade City and nearby communities, especially those she holds close to her heart: abuse victims, the lonely, those with difficult marriages, parents, widows and the ill.

The new statue is located on the property of St. Rita Parish and on May 22nd, nearly 200 members of the community gathered for the blessing and dedication of this religious symbol of hope.

Before the blessing of the statue, Father Carlos Rojas, Pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church celebrated a Mass in honor of the parish’s patron saint.

“I am super excited to be here today and happy to share and express the joy of our parish’s patron, St. Rita,” said Father Rojas during his homily.

The idea for the St. Rita statue came from Father Rojas and parish leaders who discerned three priorities for the parish: Hospitality, Ministering to Vulnerable Adults, and Supporting Families.

Father Rojas stated, “Within the context of hospitality, we thought of a sign that would be very welcoming in various languages, and then we thought of adding the statue of St. Rita to make it feel even more welcoming.”

St. Rita has one hand extended in a welcoming gesture and the other hand is holding a cross and a rose with thorns.

Father Rojas added, “The statue is perfect and a masterpiece. There is no other statue like this in the world because we custom-made it and designed it from scratch.”

“The parishioners have continued to mention how beautiful she is,” Father Rojas stated.

The St. Rita statue is the only one of its kind in Dade City and all are welcome to visit St. Rita and pray at the statue.

“The statue has lifted the morale of the community,” Father Rojas stated. “It is a perfect reminder of how beauty is one of the transcendentals and has the power to help us pray.”  

About St. Rita:

Pope Leo XIII canonized St. Rita in 1900. At her canonization ceremony, she was bestowed the title of "Patroness of Impossible Causes," while in many Catholic countries, St. Rita came to be known as the patroness of abused wives and heartbroken women. She is also the patroness of abuse victims, the sick and mothers.

The new statue was donated by the Mater Foundation.