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Remembering Reverend Richard K. Burchell, 4th Pastor of Saint Rita Parish

September 5, 1945 - January 19, 2021

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The Parish Staff continues to pray for each one of you as we begin preparations to celebrate our beloved friend and Pastor, Fr. Burchell. At the request of the family due to COVID, a private Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Assumption Church, Broadview Hts. Bishop Edward C. Malesic will be the main celebrant and Fr. Rob Wisniewski will be the homilist. Interment is at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park. It was Fr. Burchell’s request that the Mass not be live-streamed. This is not our desire, and as a staff, we mourn with all of you.

We are preparing four Memorial Masses to accommodate schedules and allow time for members of our parish community to grieve and celebrate the life and legacy of a wonderful man and Priest. On Thursday, February 11, 2021, we will celebrate Memorial Masses at 8:45am, 12:15pm, and 5:30pm. Fr. Janoch will celebrate Holy Hour with Benediction in memory of Fr. Burchell that evening at 7:00pm. A fourth Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 10:00am. Each Memorial Mass will be live-streamed for our parish community.

If anyone wishes to send condolences to Father Burchell’s family, please send them to the office where all will be compiled and sent to them. We also invite you to bring remembrances in the form of stories and pictures (with explanation please) to the memorial Mass of your choosing, from which we will create a memorial book.

Fr. Burchell was born on September 5, 1945. His parents were the late Frank and Leona (Wittman). He was educated at John Adams High School in Cleveland and graduated from Kent State University in 1968. He taught 7th grade at Saint Vitus School in Cleveland (1969-70) and entered the Congregation of Sacred Heart in Hales Corner, Wisconsin in 1971. On November 15, 1975 he was ordained into the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Fr. Burchell was incardinated into the Diocese of Cleveland on January 13, 1982. Fr. Burchell served at Saint Agnes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1975-1976). He taught at Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Lenox Massachusetts – Bellefontaine Seminary (1976-1979). On July 1, 1979, Fr. Burchell was assigned to serve at Saint Rose of Lima, Lakewood. On June 28, 1984, he was appointed Parochial Vicar of Saint Francis of Assisi in Gates Mills. Fr. Burchell was transferred on June 14, 1989 to serve at Saint Richard in North Olmsted as Parochial Vicar. On February 15, 1990 Fr. Burchell was named Pastor of Saint Augustine in Barberton. On July 1, 2005, he was named Pastor of Saint Rita. During this assignment, he also served as a Member “at large” on Presbyteral Council (2004-2008).

Fr. Burchell retired on June 30, 2020. Fr. Burchell will be remembered as being kind, gentle, and in touch with the needs of those entrusted to his care. His gentle smile, words of encouragement and love for priesthood touched many. He will be greatly missed.

If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to contact me. May the blessings of God be abundant. Be encouraged, we are all journeying and mourning with you. I pray our Lord richly blesses you and gives you the consolation promised in the Gospel. Always remember that I love you, there is no way I will love you less, and I will continue to pray for you every day.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Behrend

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Newly Deceased - Weekly Mass Intentions

St. Rita Parish eBulletin

Join Us

Weekend Masses

Saturday Vigil 5:00 PM
Sunday Masses 7:00 AM, 9:30 AM

12:00 PM


Weekend Masses will also continue to be celebrated online.

Please click on the Live Stream tab to view the Mass.


Weekday Masses

Monday-Friday 8:45 AM 


Sacrament of 


3:30 PM - 4:30 PM


3:30 PM - 4:30 PM




Thursdays 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM in Saint Mark Chapel



Memorial Masses for Fr. Burchell

Thursday, February 11 8:45 AM, 12:15 PM, 5:30 PM
Saturday, February 13 10:00 AM