The Friends of St. Peregrine

Who we are and how we got started...


Father Robert Dmitri died of cancer in August 1991. He did not want scholarships or memorials named after him. He only asked that his friends encourage devotion to St. Peregrine. Seven of his closest friends honored his wish and formed the Friends of St. Peregrine.

As a lasting icon, the Friends decided to purchase a statue of St. Peregrine for the Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel in Lewiston, NY, where "Father Bob" was chaplain. The cost, between $9,000 and $15,000, proved to be prohibitive. So Father Jim Judge, one of the seven friends and former senior chaplain at Collins Correctional Facility, suggested that an inmate and accomplished artist, Peter Rentz carve the 41-inch oak-stained white ash statue.

Mr. Rentz also carved an 18-inch St. Peregrine statue for the Scalia family when their daughter, Diane, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31. After her passing, Diane’s mother, Tina decided to share this statue with other families. As Tina quietly fought her own battle of cancer, she viewed the statue as a means by which she could let others know that God would help them through their most difficult times.  Since 1992, the Scalia family has been delivering the “traveling” St. Peregrine statue to the homes of people stricken with cancer.  Along with the statue, a journal is provided where cancer patients can write down their thoughts and feelings. The statue has visited over 174 families.

The Friends of St. Peregrine celebrate healing masses from April to November throughout the Buffalo Diocese.  Twelve masses are held each year. From 1992, we estimate that over 30,700 people have attended our healing masses.

© Friends of St. Peregrine, Inc.

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