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 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 160 families.
The Friends of St. Peregrine celebrate healing masses from April to
November throughout the Buffalo Diocese.
Twelve masses are held each year and from 1992, we estimate over
21,000 people have attended our healing masses.
© Friends of St.