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St. Rita Catholic Church celebrates 50th anniversary

She had her first Communion and confirmation there too. Marckx also attended the St. Rita parochial school, through fifth grade. She even met her husband, Tom Hollcraft, at the church, and was married in it.

She and her husband now live near Northeast 92nd Avenue and Emerson Street. There have been a few years that Marckx lived elsewhere and did not attend St. Rita but, for the most part, it’s been her church.

“You get really involved when your kids are little,” she said. She remembered there always being the annual spaghetti dinner there; she said she was involved in the preparation for the dinner when she was just a teenager.

Asked about how much St. Rita has meant to her over the years, she was hesitant.

“I don’t know how to express my feelings” about the church, she told the Memo. “It’s comfortable. It’s like home. I’ve been to other churches, but I always felt more comfortable at St. Rita. It has a very welcoming kind of personality.

“It feels like the place I need to be,” she added. “And I love the people.”

St. Rita Catholic Church offers much to parishioners

The list of activities held at St. Rita Catholic Church at Northeast 100th Avenue and Prescott Street in Parkrose is extensive. Here’s a list of some of the activities. For more information, call the church at 503-252-3403.

Ongoing events and activities open to the public are:
• Mass, celebrated Monday through Saturday at 7:45 a.m., Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
• Faith Formation for children grades kindergarten through 12
• Sacramental Preparation — a preparation class for receiving any of the sacraments, including baptism, confirmation, first Eucharist (Communion) and marriage
• Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, designed for adults wanting to come into the Catholic Church
• Scripture Class
• Walk in Faith, a faith-learning opportunity for the whole parish
• Weekly Prayer Group
• Men’s Faith Group
• Grief ministry
• Seniorita’s, a social group for senior citizens of the parish

Other events at the church are:
• Weddings
• Funerals
• A group that visits the sick and homebound
• A Prayer Tree, which is a group of people who pray on a daily basis for those who request prayers
• The annual fundraising Spaghetti Dinner
• Silent Auction
• Liturgy Committee
• Choir
• Women’s Guild
• Fall bazaar
• Parish picnic
• Parish Appreciation Party
• Advent Fair

St. Rita provides space for other organizations as well, including:
• Oregon State University Extension Service for nutritional instruction to Hispanic women
• A Boy Scout troop
• An investment club
• A Summer Reading Program
• A blood drive each December
• And a Health Fair is being planned for early summer
Marckx continued to express herself. “We just had this good feeling about it,” she said, “and that’s probably why we moved back into the neighborhood when we were adults; that’s where we wanted to raise our kids.”

Rose Garre has been a parishioner since she was two years old. And because she’s 86 years old, that means she’s been with the church since its original building was constructed in 1923. She was baptized at St. Rita, had Communion, was confirmed and was also married there.

“It’s like part of my home,” she told the Memo. “It’s a big part of my life.”

She’s lived in the parish her entire life. Garre’s father, Cosmo Spada, moved his family from where the Portland International Airport is now to Columbia Boulevard when she was a little girl. She currently lives near Northeast 129th Avenue and Shaver Street, next to the Garre family farm. The Garres are one of the last of the Italian farming families in the area.

As a sophomore in high school, Garre served at the first St. Rita Spaghetti Dinner; she’s worked the dinner ever since.

“It’s like a big family,” she said of the parish.

For more information on the 50th anniversary celebration of the completion and dedication of the building, call St. Rita Catholic Church at 503-252-3403.
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