Padre Pio Prayer Groups USA

Spiritual Directors – Padre Pio Prayer Groups

November, 2012

To:       Spiritual Directors – Padre Pio Prayer Groups

Dear Brothers,

The Lord give you His peace!

This is a ‘touched-up’ repeat of a letter sent to all Spiritual Directors of the Prayer Groups in the USA a number of that committed Catholics can offer to a world of indifference, relativism, individualism, and the like. Thank you ahead of time for all you accept to do with and for the Prayer Group(s) you assist.

Our Association encompasses the entire world.  In the United States we are seeing more and more, albeit slowly, Padre Pio Prayer Groups being established.  Many of these are coming about  because Groups that had been functioning as such for years only now realize that they were never enrolled in San Giovanni Rotondo. It will still be a while before we can see our Association organized as they can be for a more effective united presence in the USA. Both the extension of our national territory and the indifference to the importance of the Prayer Groups by so many among the clergy affect a more rapid growth.

The office of National Coordinator is a fraternal ministry that seeks to maintain a relationship with all the Spiritual Children of Padre Pio in the Prayer Groups of the nation. You who are the Spiritual Directors of the Groups have a more determining presence in your Group.  Padre Pio wanted priests as Spiritual Directors so that orthodoxy could be safeguarded and the members of the Group could have someone who would be able to direct them more personally and clearly in their spiritual life.

Shortage of personnel and time, as well as true indifference or even, as I experienced in some situations, open aversion to Padre Pio, condition the ability of the Group to progress well.  What seems as indifference by those Groups who say they have problems getting a priest to commit to spiritually assist them is often due, however,  to the present state of affairs in dioceses and religious communities in the USA.  To be fair and honest, there is at times the problem of some forming or formed groups that make demands of the priest desirous and willing to participate but who is physically unable to meet all the demands placed before him. In cases such as these, where the priest is truly willing and desirous of participating as spiritual assistant, I encourage the Prayer Group involved to compromise.

Unless the Spiritual Director is present and available to respond to the spiritual needs of the Group, the members cannot hope to develop well as Spiritual Children of Padre Pio. Your position is an essential one that makes the Prayer Group advance the way it should.  Unfortunately, there are Groups who have lost their Spiritual Directors and still continue as best they can praying, and sometimes even begging, for a priest to accept to be with them once a month. Pray with me that those Groups who still lack Spiritual Directors may soon have them. Please try as best you are able to make every effort to be with your Group for their monthly gathering.   The sacrifice of your time and talents will surely not go unrewarded, and the faithful whom you guide will profit spiritually from your selflessness. Do not hesitate to let me know how I might be able to assist  you in any way.  I will do what I am able to do, and will try to offer alternative suggestions that might help when I am unable to respond personally.

God bless you with a fruitful ministry among our sisters and brothers of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups. They live in our world with a desire to have Padre Pio as their guide in growing in the Spirit of God. They want and need our open-hearted and willing availability to assist them in any way we can.  We live in a world often averse to or manipulative of the values and principles that the Gospel and our Catholic Christian Faith ask us to live without gloss. We are called to be beacons of light and warmth in a world that would rather walk in the shadows of confusion, compromise, and convenience, and a world that is growing cold  by indifference to God, or even takes a poll concerning the place of God in the life of our nationa. There is no need to mention relatively recent media coverage that was a startling reality check and wake up call for us all. There is so much we can offer those whom we are called to direct and serve, and there is much we can learn from them.  Let us support and encourage one another in our ministry with our prayers, as we seek God’s blessings and graces through the intercession of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

May the Spirit of God fill us with His grace that we may know what we are called to do, and that we may have the courage to do it.  I ask a remembrance before the Lord and promise to remember each one of you and your ministry in mine.

God bless you;  Our Lady guide, guard, and protect you;  and Padre Pio watch over each one of you with loving care.


Peace and Blessings
Fr. Francis A. Sariego, O.F.M. Cap.
National Coordinator