St. Rita of Cascia Marks 90 Years of Faith
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
May 25, 2017

AURORA— St Rita of Cascia, here, celebrated 90 years amid a variety of cultures.

“One characteristic of the parish is diversity,” said Father Oscar Cortes, parochial administrator. “We have people from different countries such as Poland, Nigeria, Philippines, Vietnam, Latinos and (we have) Anglos. Having  a big diversity of cultures is not an obstacle. It is a blessing from God. It is a means to evangelize people. We can show others the real meaning of being the Church of Christ.”

On May 21, Bishop David Malloy presided at  the 10:15 a.m. Mass in English, a baccalaureate for the parish school’s eighth-graders.

In his homily, the bishop said, “Heaven is real, the saints are real, and the saints pray for us.”

Talking about St. Rita of Cascia, he said, “Her husband was killed in a political uprising. Her two sons, both died of illnesses (and she said), ‘I gave myself to God and my family. Now I can give myself to be a sister.’

“She joined the Augustine Sisters,” the bishop said, adding, “She was well known for two things: for prayer ... above and beyond normal, and she is known for ... charity to the poor.”

The bishop explained that St. Rita also bore part of the stigmata, as did St Francis of Assisi and Padre Pío.

“That’s the patron you have in this parish for 90 years,” he said.

The bishop also talked about the importance of the Catholic faith.

“We are talking catholic being universal,” he explained. “On this sixth Sunday of Easter, whether here, whether in the Philippines, whether in Africa, this Sunday of Easter Mass is perhaps (offered in) different languages but the Catholica faith is there, that’s good.”

The Catholic faith is  “universal in time,” he added. “We are the link to those who have been before, not only here in St. Rita Parish but also in all the churches in the world. We need to appreciate it” and those who will be Catholics in the future.

After Mass he posed for pictures with parishioners and joined them for refshments.

By 12 noon, the bishop returned upstairs to greet Hispanic worshippers at the beginning of Mass and congratulate them on the 90th anniversary.

Father Cortes urged parishioners to celebrate the nine decades of the parish by watching a movie about St. Rita of Cascia on  May 22 at the parish.

“The school, which celebrates 60 years, started “under the direction of two Sisters of St. Francis from Joliet, Sr. Lorraine and Sr. Dominic,” says its website.

Today it “is one of most recognized and trusted schools for the families in the area,” said Father Cortes. “We have teachers with great experience. The ambience is of harmony and spirituality. The buildings offer opportunities to practices sports”, add Father Cortes.