Saint Rita Catholic Church

Saint Rita, come to my aid! Beautiful rose born from the Savior’s thorns, Lead me far from anger and hate; Guide my heart on peaceful paths with charity to all.

Since 1914, our parish has served the spiritual needs of this Alexandria, Virginia, community. Please join us, as together we worship God and grow in love for one another under the protection of our patroness, Saint Rita of Cascia.

Parish Groups

Saint Rita School

For over fifty years, Saint Rita School has provided a quality Catholic education for children in grades K-8. Saint Rita School was established in 1952 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill and has proudly served thousands of children since its opening. Saint Rita is a strong Faith community which provides a roadmap for life for our students. Daily Religion classes, weekly Mass, outreach service projects and sacramental preparation deepen our students’ understanding of their Faith and the Church. Our academic curriculum includes both core subjects, including reading, spelling, grammar, science, social studies, mathematics and enrichment courses, including music, P.E., art, library, computer technology and weekly instruction in Spanish for grades K-5 with academic Latin for grades 6-8.

For more information, please see our website or contact our School Principal, Mrs. Mary Pat Schlickenmaier, by email, phone (703) 548-1888, or write:

Saint Rita School
3801 Russell Road
Alexandria, VA 22305

Religious Education

❖ Religious Education Program

This program is available to help parents educate their children in the Catholic Faith. It provides grade-level classes and sacramental preparation classes for children, and periodic presentations for parents. Teachers and aides are needed for our religious education programs at all levels, first grade through high school. Contact Betsy Nunn, Director of Religious Education, 703-836-1356 or

❖ Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

A program of classes on the Catholic faith for non-Christians or for Christians of other denominations, who are considering entering the Catholic Church. Classes begin in late August and end in April/May the following year. Call the Parish Rectory Office at 703-836-1640 to register.


❖ Saint Rita Altar Boys

A great group of boys who serve at Sunday and other special Masses, and in doing so, assists priests and the parish. Altar boys are in the 4th through 12th grades, and must have received First Communion. The duties are straightforward so no experience is necessary as the boys are trained. The experience is also enriching and the time commitment is not great as each boy serves once every 2-3 weeks. The altar boys also do fun activities like hiking, the Marine Corps Evening Parade, and movies.

❖ Lectors

This ministry consists of men and women who read the Word of God during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass during Sunday liturgy, Monday evening Novena/Mass, and Holy Day Masses. Training, if necessary, will be provided. Please leave your name and number with the parish secretary at 703-836-1640 and the coordinator, Frank Donahoe, will contact you.

❖ Music & Choir: Saint Rita’s Music

Sacred music has a prominent place at Saint Rita Parish. The Parish choir sings at the 11:00 liturgy on Sundays and for the celebrations of Christmas, Holy Week, Easter and other Solemn Feasts throughout the liturgical year. For more information please contact Mr. Lawrence Bowie, Director of Music and Organist, at 703-836-1640, ext. 29.

❖ Sacristan

Adult volunteers are needed to set up for weekday and Sunday Masses, baptisms, and all weddings.

❖ Ushers

Men and women who act as hosts to welcome parishioners and visitors to each liturgical Mass/celebration and take up the collection. If interested in being an usher, please contact Dan Verdonik at 703-920-1965, or

Outreach Organizations

❖ Saint Rita Parish Respect Life Group

WE ARE A PEOPLE OF LIFE, AND A PEOPLE FOR LIFE. Our mission is to make the respect life message live in the hearts and actions of all Saint Rita parishioners. Restoring respect for human life at all stages from initial conception to natural death is our goal. Our program embraces the four foundational aspects of this task as articulated by our Bishop Paul S. Loverde, namely: prayer, education, action, and sacrifice.

One major focus is our monthly Respect Life Mass celebrated on the fourth Saturday of each month followed by Holy Rosary prayer at the Duke Street Alexandria abortion facility where we pray in order to:

  1. ask for Divine assistance in the struggle to establish appropriate respect for life and to eliminate abuses against human life;
  2. be a public example to our neighbors, abortion clients, abortionists, and abortion facility employees that abortion is truly an evil which terminates human lives and needs to be remedied;
  3. offer arriving abortion clients one last opportunity to change their minds; and
  4. make known to abortion clients that both a support ministry and a healing ministry are available for them so that they can have their child.

For information, contact Imelda Severdia, 703-684-0142, or

The schedule for the upcoming Monthly Respect Life Mass at 8 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month:

    October 26
November 23   December 28
January 25   February 22
March 22   April 26
May 24   June 28
July 26   August 23
September 27   October 25
November 22   December 27

Pray the Holy Rosary following Mass at the Duke Street abortion facility. For directions to the abortion facility, click here(Google maps is free.)


The St. Rita Parish Respect Life Group sponsors a variety of parish-wide activities designed to help restore respect for all human life—from the moment of conception until the natural end. Daily, we face threats to life—from abortion and contraception and cloning, to euthanasia and assisted suicide, sex trafficking and infertility, caring for each other and all our loved ones even unto death, to terrorism and war and murder.

The Second Look Project has prepared an informative full-color chart detailing the growth in the womb of a new baby. Click here to view the chart. For more information go to

Learn more about Respect Life, check out these web sites:

Please consider adding A Prayer For Life to your daily devotions.

Check out our current Calendar of Activities.

❖ Parish Homebound Visitors

Volunteers from the parish visit the homebound once a month. They are also available to do grocery shopping, help in transporting parishioners to doctors’ appointments, or provide a ride to Mass. If you would like to help with this program call Jane Quinn at 703-549-2561.

❖ Hospitality Committee

The Hospitality Committee is a group of parishioners, both men and women, who plan, coordinate, and staff various social and liturgical-based parish events. These include funeral receptions, and other events that follow parish functions. If interested in joining, please call either Thana Dixon at 703-836-3538 or Chris Ames at 703-519-8335.

❖ Funerals

When a family requests the use of the Parish Center for a funeral reception our committee speaks with the family and coordinates the delivery of the food. We provide setup, servers, and cleanup so that the family is free to share time with those attending the funeral. We are always in need of individuals who can help when the need arises. People can call me, Kathleen Sullivan at 703-370-5682 if they want more information or would like to be added to our list of volunteers.

❖ Legion of Mary

The St. Rita Legion of Mary currently consists three presidia in the parish:  english adults (Wed 6:30 pm), junior legion (Thursday 4:00 pm), and spanish speaking adults (Monday 5:30 pm).  For more information please call the rectory office or just show up at one of the meetings.

❖ Social Outreach Program

Read the list of volunteer opportunities to see how you can put the Corporal Works of Mercy into Action this Lent. Call or email the contacts listed or sign up on the poster in church vestibule.

❖ Saint Rita Parish Knights of Columbus Council #15244

The Knights of Columbus is a family, fraternal, and service organization. With over 1.8 million members worldwide, the Knights of Columbus is the largest fraternal Catholic organization in the world. In 2009 alone, the Knights of Columbus donated over $151 million to charitable causes and performed over 69 million hours of volunteer service. Activities of the Knights of Columbus include support for pro-life causes, community service, fundraisers, and serving the needs of the local parish.

Male parishioners who are over the age of 18, and in good standing with the Catholic Church, are encouraged to contact Grand Knight Thomas Maresh at for membership details.

❖ Saint Rita Parish Gabriel Project

Gabriel Project is a parish-based pregnancy assistance ministry run by the Office for Family Life of the Diocese of Arlington. Our mission at the St. Rita’s chapter is to help any pregnant woman within our parish boundaries (whether Catholic or not) who needs assistance. Our assistance can take many forms depending on the needs of the mother—from preparing dinners and offering our prayers to providing baby shower items and prenatal care. We work with the diocese, local pregnancy crisis centers, the Tepeyac Center and other parish groups in order to meet each woman’s needs.

More information about the Gabriel Project is available on the Arlington diocese Web site. Anyone interested in volunteering with the Gabriel Project should contact St. Rita parishioner Jane Holman for details. Volunteers who are interested in becoming an “Angel” and working directly with those who need assistance should plan to attend the next training session on Saturday, February 4th. More details will be posted as they become available.

Inreach Organizations

❖ Mother’s Group

The St. Rita’s Mother’s Group provides an opportunity for mothers to enjoy each others company, share advice and have some adult conversation while their children play. We meet on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. Please contact Laura Eckel at 703-994-4843 or

❖ Parish Father’s Group

Coming together to pray the Rosary and for fellowship and discussion, this group is for all Catholic married men. We meet on the 2nd Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m. If interested, please contact

❖ Parish Women’s Group

This group exists to provide spiritual, educational, and social support for all married women. The group helps women to fulfill their vocation. We meet the 3rd Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m.


This is a group of parishioners about 50 years of age or older. We join together for activities, fun, and friendship. STARS is an acronym for the types of events we sponsor: Social, Travel, Adventure, Religious, and Service. Our goal is to provide our members with a variety of events that will strengthen their faith, and be a cause for joy and goodwill. Please call Jane Quinn at 703-549-2561 for more information.

❖ Young Adults Group

St. Rita Young Adults Group is for those ages 21–39 seeking to grow closer to Christ. Our activities are spread throughout the year and include spiritual, social and service activities that benefit our parish and community. To be included in the list serve, please contact Theresa Hardy at Also check out our facebook page and our Web site.

❖ Hispanic Charismatic Prayer Group

Meeting weekly and open to everyone, this group sings, prays and has brief teachings in Spanish. We meet Sundays at 6:50 p.m. in the church. Please contact Rosa Reyes-Turcios at 301-248-7867 or at


❖ Hispanic Young Adult Group

A group for Spanish-speaking young people ages 18–30. This charismatic prayer group meets weekly to pray together, and engage in other social and charitable works for the parish, the diocese and the community. For information, contact Melissa Romero, 571-721-9656.

Parish Advisory Groups

❖ Pastoral Council

An advisory body of the parish to assist the pastor in the areas of pastoral activities. The Council is based on the vision of pastoral councils as outlined by the past Ordinary of the Diocese of Arlington, Bishop John Keating, in his pastoral letter “On Consultation in the Parish.” With this document as the primary guide, the St. Rita Pastoral Council helps the pastor in the following specific areas: identifying pastoral needs of the parish, planning pastoral programs, improving pastoral services and evaluating the effectiveness of existing programs and services. Membership in the pastoral council is by appointment by the pastor and currently includes the pastor and nine other parishioners. Those interested in membership on the Pastoral Council must first read Bishop Keating’s pastoral letter, which can be found at, then contact Father Gee with a letter.

❖ Finance Council

This council functions as an advisory body to the pastor regarding the financial matters of the parish. The group meets two or three times each year to discuss the finance reports, school and parish budgets, fund-raising efforts, capital campaigns and capital improvements. Membership is by appointment by the pastor. For more information, contact Father Gee at 703-836-1640 or Allison Cryor DiNardo, Finance Council Chair at 703-837-9370 or