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.
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.