As Christians, we are called to worship God, and celebrate the holy Mysteries he has given to us for our sanctification. Through the sacraments, especially Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, we are formed into the Body of Christ and become Church.

On these pages you will find more information about the sacraments celebrated here at St. Rita in the Desert parish. We hope that you will consider this to be a personal invitation to grace, and a fuller life in Christ.

How do I join the congregation?   

Membership in the Church is conferred by the Sacrament of Baptism.Jesus commands us to “Baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”(cf. Matthew 28: 19) St. Rita in the Desert parish invites everyone to Baptism and membership in the Church.

How do I bring a child for Baptism? 

Please call the parish office to make an appointment for the Baptism. Contact the parish secretary at 762-9688

Baptisms are usually held during the 11 a.m. Mass on the Third Sunday of the month. Parents and Godparents are required to attend a short class before the Baptism, held on the second Thurs of each month. Please call the parish office at 762-9688 to register.
Private Baptisms can be held in the Shrine. Please call to schedule your date and confirm an availability date with the priest..

How can I be Baptized?  

Adults who wish to be baptized, confirmed and make their First Communion are asked to join the preparation program. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) prepares you for Christian Initiation each year at the feast of Easter.  For more information, please contact


Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) we are reconciled to God and to one another. This Mystery of forgiveness and healing is celebrated every Saturday at 3 p.m. (until about 3.30 p.m.) in the Baptistery at the back of the Church. 

Holy Communion

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6: 51.) 

If you are home bound, or in a nursing home, we would like to bring Holy Communion to you.   Please contact:

If you are in hospital, please arrange for communion through the local hospital chaplaincy, or contact

If you would like your child to make their First Holy Communion in May, please bring your child to Sunday School beginning in September the previous year.

Teens and adults who have been Baptized, but have not made their First Communion are asked to contact:


“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17.)

Confirmation is celebrated annually at Saint Thomas the Apostle. If you are an adult, and would like to be Confirmed at Easter, please contact:

Young people (Junior & High School age) prepare for the sacrament by joining our Youth Formation Ministry. They enter more fully into the life of the Church through commitment to worship, service and learning.



Christian Marriage is an occasion of great joy for the whole parish.  Parishioners who would like to be married are encouraged to make an appointment to visit with the pastor early in their time of engagement, and at least four months before they hope to be married.  Couples often have many questions about this process, and we will try to answer some of them here.  If you are not currently a registered member of St. Rita, you are welcome to register. After six months of participation at St. Thomas, you will be eligible to reserve a wedding date for your marriage. Catholics from other parishes are respectfully encouraged to approach their own pastor for permission to marry in their own parish community Call the office 762-9688 to setup appoint with the pastor to begin your marriage preparation. .

Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick
“Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”  (James 5: 14.)

The Mystery of Holy Anointing is offered to those who are in need of healing.   The Sacrament is offered after all the Masses one a month (usually the third weekend, but consult the parish calendar for details).   In addition, the Sacrament may be celebrated at any time by appointment.  If you are in hospital, please arrange with the local hospital chaplaincy for the sacrament.   In an urgent need, or for more information, please call the parish office at

Holy Orders

Holy Orders
 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Holy Orders enables the Church to have the service of bishops, priests and deacons.   This sacrament is conferred by the Bishop laying hands upon a candidate for Orders.  Perhaps you would consider serving as a priest or a deacon in the Church?   There is a considerable period of education and discernment.  For more information about vocation to the diaconate or priesthood, see our vocations page.

Rite Of Christian Burial

Rite of Christian Burial
When one of the congregation dies, we arrange a Mass of Christian Burial.  We pray for the departed as our beloved brother or sister continues his journey in Christ.   We also gather as a community to express our faith in the Resurrection of Christ and comfort one another in hope. If you are arranging a funeral, please contact the parish office

Mass Times

Daily (Monday - Friday):
8:00 a.m. in the Chapel

5:00 p.m. in John XXIII Center

7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and
11:00 a.m. in John XXIII Center

Holy Days: 8:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.
(may vary/check bulletin)

Confessions: 4:30pm on Saturday
or call the Parish Office for
an appointment


Contact Us

13260 E Colossal Cave Road,
Vail, AZ 85641-0400
Office: 762-9688
Fax: 762-5967
Email Us

Parish Office Hours
Monday - Thursday
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.