Vol. 1., Issue 5.
Rita and her Rosary
Everybody knows Rita! She is one of the lovely ladies who seat many of us at
the 7:15 and 8:30 masses. She fulfills one of her favorite ministry’s…being an
usher. I enjoy seeing Rita on those mornings because I’m guaranteed a hug and
the occasional kiss on my cheek. When you’re greeted by Rita you can see and
feel her complete joy that you’ve arrived, almost as if she were waiting for you to
get there. She has a very fun smile and way about her.
Rita has been living in Caroline county for 54 years! Prior to coming to
Caroline County she lived and grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania. I asked her if
that was where she became Catholic and she proudly answered “I was born and
Catholic.” Rita was the oldest of thirteen children. She had to quit school
when she was sixteen and go
to work to help provide for her family. Rita had to
grow very quickly and also noted that she continued to work until she was 76
years old. I’m not surprised; I see her work ethics right here in the parish. Her
early education was from Cathedral Catholic School in Altoona. She went to
Mass every Sunday, Holy Days and the occasional weekday. Rita said her
Confirmation was her most spiritual moment growing up.
She met her late husband Bob at a silk mill in Altoona where they both worked. Not so long after, they were
married and moved to Caroline County.
Bob’s cousin linked them to an opportunity to buy the Greensboro
Neither Bob nor Rita knew anything about the restaurant business. I guess faith just stepped in.
They quickly sold the business as Rita said it was just too time consuming, working almost 12 hour shifts six
days a week. However, she met a lot of good people through the restaurant. That was the only thing she really
missed, meeting and talking to the good people of our community.
Immediately upon moving here they jumped right into their regular Mass schedule. Rita hasn’t missed a
beat. Bob and Rita were best friends. They had a daughter, Donna, who went to St. Gertrude’s and then on to
Holy Cross. They have two grandchildren. Rita said she’s waiting for great grandchildren. Rita was a monitor
for CCD last year and looks forward to doing it again this year. She is also one of the sacristans for the 7:15 and
8:30 Masses. She is happy Father Carroll started the sacristan opportunity for us as she recalls a similar position
she had growing up. They were called Handmaids of the
Altar. They cleaned the vestments and would get them
ready for the priests prior to mass. Being part of the Mass is really important to her. I asked her if she had any
words of wisdom. She expressed her respect for Fr. Carroll: “I’m grateful for the man.” She appreciates that he
has encouraged us to become the active parish that we are.
A few years back Bob was elected Grand Knight of the St. Joan of Arc Council, a position he respected and
appreciated. He became very ill while in office and Rita, God bless her, fulfilled much of the position for him.
The men from the Knights of our council are indebted to her. One of the things Bob introduced to the council
was providing the children who we’re receiving First Communion a rosary. The rosary was so important to Bob
and Rita. They wanted to share that prayer with everyone.
Bob and Rita would say the rosary quite often together and she really misses that. The rosary was so
important to them. In fact, Beverly Sherman quite often brought Communion to Bob while he was ill and she
would say the rosary with them as well while she was visiting. Upon finishing the rosary on one of her visits,
Beverly kissed Bob and said “Godspeed” and left. Not even five minutes later, with Rita there on Bob’s
shoulder, he passed away… “With
grace,” as Rita recalls. After Bob passed away she relied on her rosary to get
her through many days. I can see her love for the prayer and her complete devotion and appreciation for having
Rita and her Rosary! She encourages us to pray it as often as we can.
What is BE Parishioner? This idea was launched last year in an effort to build community, to help us all, as a
parish family, to get to know one another better.
Many of you may recall that last year, when we kicked off the
BEParishioner idea, we offered a challenge to all of you. We asked 20 various parishioners for a fun/interesting
fact about their life and then we challenged you to figure out which parishioner had once wrestled a zebra for
food (Lindsey McCormick) or which parishioner was once a member of a chorus line (Linda Ruskin). Below
are a few more fun facts about several parishioners. We hope to offer a few of these fun facts each time an
issue of BEParishioner is published:
Linda Nickum was once an aerobics instructor on television.
Brian Zedalis was the captain of his high school football team.
Dan Ruskin once played in the Rose Bowl – he played the trumpet in an NFL playoff game.
Periodically, various parishioners are interviewed so that we might get a deeper look into their lives. Today’s
insert highlighted the life of parishioner Rita Miedl. Past interviewees have included Kenny Wood and Deacon
Bill & Linda Nickum. The next interview will be with Deacon Hal Jopp. These interviews will continue in the
future – who knows, your telephone may be the next to ring!
We’d also like to highlight the ongoing accomplishments of our parishioners of all ages. If you would like us to
highlight an accomplishment of your own, or the accomplishment of a parishioner that you know, you may
Kenny Wood recently traveled to Ghana, Africa once again and, with the help of his well-drilling team, dug
59 more wells that will provide life-giving water to the people there.
The Centofante’s and Amalfitano’s spent the month of September on a cross-country traveling adventure.
Justine Armstead spent the summer in Alaska with her daughter and family.
Mother and daughter team
Jeanne Wallace & Flo Petroski made another trip to the orphanage in Jamaica
to support the children there.
Gabrielle Gianninoti is spending her senior year in Brazil as an exchange student.
Lindsey McCormick was named Caroline County Teacher of the Year.
David Redgraves achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Megan Anderson was valedictorian of the 2007 NCHS graduating class. She is now a student at St.
Mary’s College in southern Maryland.