John Powell and John Cavallaro Sr. (center) present a donation on behalf of the St. Alfio Society of Pennsylvania to Jonathan Jerome (left), the director of the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia and Augustinian Father Bob Guessetto, the prior of the Augustinian community that ministers to the shrine in South Philadelphia.

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia had reason for thanksgiving last week as the St. Alfio Society of Pennsylvania gave a $50,000 donation to the shrine to further its mission and ministry in South Philadelphia.

The Nov. 25 donation was given with a prayer that it be “used to better the lives of those (the shrine) chooses to help, both young and old, and that ultimately it helps to make the world a better, safer, and more peaceful place.”


Jonathan Jerome, the director of the shrine conducted by the Augustinian friars, said the gift “radically changes the way that we are able to minister to the local community and to our patrons across the country. For generations, we have relied on the stewardship of people in South Philadelphia and they constantly support us with their generous prayers and gifts.

“This donation came at an opportune time as we look to expand our pastoral offerings, and as we continue to spread the virtues that St. Rita, our patroness, models for us with her own life.”

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia is located on South Broad Street in South Philadelphia, just a mile from City Hall. It promotes the virtues of St. Rita through sacrament, pilgrimage and prayer. The shrine is not a parish but rather it serves the entire nation as it seeks to advance peacemaking, reconciliation and healing.

Learn more about the shrine, and help support it through donations, online at, by the phone at 215-546-8333 or by mail at 1166 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146.