St. Rita Catholic Church began as a mission founded by Oblate Father Michael Devaney in 1979. Its first pastor, Father Walter Dockerill, was appointed to guide the faith community in 1980, when the first Mass was celebrated.
For the first few years, parishioners celebrated Mass at the Lions Club in Royal Palm Beach until the parish center was completed. Outgrowing the parish center after a few years, the parish built a new church building in which Mass has been celebrated since its dedication in 1992.
The parish center contains offices, a gift shop, space for an early childhood program, youth ministry offices, and general meeting and parish hall areas.
Father Dockerill retired in 2002, and the second and current pastor, Father Donald Munro, was appointed and installed in December 2002 to lead the community of approximately 6,000 registered families.
The parish mission statement is to bring the community to Christ by building trust, serving others, and creating a sense of family and friendship through the worship and praise of God, all in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in union with the whole Catholic Church, Mary, all the angels and saints, especially Saint Rita.
Father Duván Bermudez serves the parish in residence, and Father Michael Parrotta and Msgr. Stephen Bosso assist with pastoral care. Deacon Joe O'Connell, Deacon Jim Meyer and Deacon José Ortiz also serve the parish.
The faith formation movement at St. Rita Parish has transformed in response to the challenges of today, and to shift the paradigm of faith formation from "catechesis as schooling" to “catechesis with the Church as the center."
St. Rita Parish is now entering its 13th year using this model of faith formation. Its mission in fostering life-long learners is to proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in family faith sharing, learning, prayer, celebrating and service to all generations. This is the Catholic way of life that is woven into the fabric of daily life, including knowledge of Catholic tradition and belief. This model of faith formation strives to provide experiences of a prayerful nature, foster a spirit of Christian community and address social justice issues through event centered activities. The event centered activities are developed around the shared life as a Church—the Church year, the Sacraments, and the Liturgy.
St. Rita Catholic Church is located at 13645 Paddock Dr, Wellington, FL 33414.