St. Rita Church, Vail, AZ, exteriorName of Church St. Rita in the Desert

Address 13260 E. Colossal Cave Road, Vail AZ 85641-0040

Phone number 520-762-9688


Mass times Saturday vigil, 5 p.m.  Sunday, 7 a.m., 9 a.m. & 11 a.m.  Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.  Holy days: 8 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Confessions Saturdays, 4:30 p.m.

St. Rita Church, Vail, AZ, interiorNames of priests Father John Allt, pastor.

School No.

Special parish groups Knights of Columbus, Fellowship of Catholic Men, Women’s Bible Study, St. Rita’s Guild, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Outreach Ministry

Devotional activities 1st Fridays at 8 a.m. followed by Eucharistic adoration, 1st Saturday Mass, confessions & rosary at 8 a.m.

Liturgy/Music The vigil Mass and 9 a.m. Mass feature traditional hymns; the 11 a.m. features more contemporary music.

Parking Plenty, you’re surrounded by desert. Park in the lot or on the street.

Fellow parishioners Primarily English-speaking.

Cry room No.

Parish Bulletin Available online or in the rear of the church.  Also being distributed in the church were some fine Catholic brochures: Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics by Father John McCloskey, pamphlets with information on how to pray the rosary and Chaplet of Mercy, information on the life of St. Rita, etc.

Additional observations  St. Rita in the Desert (or also known as the Shrine of St. Rita) is a quaint little desert church in southern Arizona.  It is dedicated to St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457), known as the “Saint of the Impossible.”  The church was established in 1935 to serve the Mexican laborers who worked on the railroad and the nearby ranches.  It is small, seating about 115.  Its prominent features include a large central crucifix (hand carved, originally from Bavaria), a special statue of St. Rita (with prayer petitions placed at the foot of the statue), green marble baptismal font and many beautiful stained glass windows that let in the bright desert sun.  The stained glass windows, interestingly enough, were originally “rescued” from a Methodist church which was relocating.  The tabernacle and altar are made of stone taken from the surrounding mountains.  It’s an attractive little parish and a good place to pray, particularly if one has a devotion to St. Rita.