50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Church of St. Rita in Cottage Grove. From a small group of faithful who began meeting for Sunday Mass at Park High School, to our vibrant parish of more than 1,450 families, St. Rita's has been an integral part of the spiritual fabric of Cottage Grove and surrounding communities since 1966.


Hundreds of people gathered at St. Rita's on April 17 to officially mark our 50th anniversary and dedicate our new addition. We were honored to welcome Archbishop Bernard Hebda as he celebrated Mass, along with Fr. Rick, former pastors Fr. John Brandes and Fr. Bill Deziel, former associate pastor Fr. Roger Hessian, Fr. Sebastian Bakatu, Fr. Albert Wugaa and Fr. Evan Koop of our parish. A dedication ceremony for the addition took place immediately after Mass, and Fr. Tom Fitzgerald joined the celebration as well. All enjoyed the gala reception following the ceremony. Enjoy a photo gallery of the event here.

Click here to watch a video timeline of our parish's history.

Click here to watch a 50th Anniversary greeting from Fr. Jose and our brothers and sisters at Los Santos Martires in Chimbote, Peru.  (It's in Spanish, but the music is beautiful and you can meet some of our friends there!)

 Read a brief history of St. Rita's parish here.


aw67l6zifd1slmgqto21k9ppcsl.jpgIt was truly a blessing to have Steve Angrisano with us at St. Rita's for our three-day retreat in early October, helping us grow in understanding of our Catholic faith and build community. Steve led us in song and prayer, and shared stories that brought laughter and tears.

Above all, Steve shared with us his deep faith in Jesus Christ and encouraged us to listen to God as he speaks to us, in so many ways, every day. God bless you, Steve, and thank you for sharing your love and faith with us! 

Please enjoy some photos from the retreat in this photo gallery. 

Learn more about Steve and his ministry here.





We'll conclude our year of anniversary celebrations with the Concert of Joy, our annual showcase of the wonderful and talented musicians we have here at St. Rita's.



"Heavenly Delights," our 50th Anniversary Edition parish cookbooks, are available for purchase in the parish office. The cost is $15, and the proceeds will go toward the activities of our Mission Outreach Commission. 

Note: We gave our best efforts to make this cookbook perfect, but we unintentionally missed a few details. If you notice anything amiss with the recipe you contributed, please call the parish office. We have a "corrections page" available in the office as well.  

Many thanks to all who submitted recipes. Bon appetit, everyone!



Heavenly Father, as we celebrate 50 years of Connecting Faith and Life, we are grateful for all the blessings you have given our parish family. We are thankful to all who have supported our ministries and created the faith community we benefit from today. We ask for your guidance as we help shape the future of our parish.

As we join together in worship and the sharing of our faith, remind us that our mission is centered in Jesus Christ and bringing His good news of salvation to the world around us. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. 



St. Rita, who lived in Italy from 1381-1457, is known as the "Saint of the Impossible" and had a special devotion to the suffering of Our Lord.

At one point, as Rita was kneeling in prayer, she asked God to share with her at least some of His pain. A thorn from Christ's crown loosened itself from a crucifix and implanted itself into Rita's forehead. This wound remained with her for the rest of her life. 

Read more about St. Rita's remarkable life of piety and sacrifice here.