Under St. Rita’s patronage, in Roccaporena, in 1949 a work of charity was begun: an orphanage. This is how it was publicized in the magazine of that year: “The project of the Shrine, that has already been actualized some time ago, foresaw, alongside it, a building to be used as: “A Guest House for Pilgrims”. That was before the Second World War, when, perhaps, it would have been possible to give a semi-gratuitous housing to the pilgrims, even though this custom had already been set aside in all Shrines. The conditions and the economic life in Italy, having changed profoundly due to the War, led the Society of St. Rita to reexamine the primitive project and, given the necessity to find a location for the Orphanage of St. Rita, which already existed in Roccaporena, with suitable buildings for hygiene, health and capacity, it was established in August 1949 to radically change the destination of the adjacent buildings to the Shrine into the site of the Orphanage and for the housing of the Sisters who are responsible for the Orphanage itself”.
During the years the Orphanage has been transformed into an Institute which is known today as the “St. Rita Education Center”. It welcomes, thanks to the sensibility and the closeness of many benefactors who live in Italy and abroad, boys and young adolescents in order to guide them to a healthy moral formation, inspired by Christian principles. From the first years to today more than 1500 youth have been guests in the Center of Roccaporena. Many of them are now fathers of families; others have prominent positions in the social or political realm; still others have reached high professional levels. Leading and forming the youth are engaged professional educators. The Education Center is presently directed by Diego Catanossi.