Padre Pio Prayer Groups USA


The New Statutes of the Prayer Groups of Padre Pio I.
by the President of the work: Monsignor RiccardoRuotolo

The International Convention of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups was opened on May 4, 1986, with a concelebrated Mass in front of the Shrine of Our Lady Of Grace. The occasion was the thirtieth anniversary of Padre Pio’s hospital, the Home for the Relief of Suffering. At that opening I was able to announce to those present the news of Pontifical approbation of the new Statutes of the Prayer Groups of Padre Pio. It had been communicated to me by a letter dated May 3, 1986 from Cardinal Casaroli, Secretary of State of His Holiness.

The crowd present received the news with prolonged applause, a sign of joy and great gratitude toward the Holy Father, who had deigned to approve the new Statutes. He had already referred to them in the address which he delivered on October 1, 1983 to twenty thousand Prayer Group pilgrims gathered from all over the world.

The new Statutes confirm the basic principles and aims, which Padre Pio had given to his Groups from the beginning of their establishment.

The Prayer Groups have to distinguish themselves for their fidelity to the Church, to the Pope, and to the Bishops. They must aim at an integral Christian formation through prayer and generous charity towards the suffering, according to what Padre Pio indicated.

The structure of the Prayer Groups is in full harmony with the Church’s hierarchical structure. It is absolutely necessary that each Group have a Priest Spiritual Director, appointed by the Bishop and the guarantor of the Group’s spiritual formation and adherence to the doctrine and directives of the Magisterium of the Church.

Appointment of the Group Leader is reserved to the Bishop, after the members vote in the presence of a Priest appointed by the Bishop. This ensures fidelity to the Hierarchy. To the Bishop is likewise reserved the appointment of the Priest to be the Diocesan Co-ordinator of the Groups, whereas the appointment of the Regional or National Co-ordinator falls within the competence of the Regional or National Episcopal Conference.

The Certificate of affiliation with the International Centre, which has it’s headquarters in Padre Pio’s Foundation, the Home for the Relief of Suffering, is the visible link of the Group’s union with the Centre instituted by Padre Pio. All Groups will periodically send reports to the Centre of their activities, so that the General Headquarters may be able to draw up an annual report of such activities, to be sent to the Cardinal Secretary of State.

This special link with the Holy See and with the Holy Father is a very high honour for the Prayer Groups. It should also constitute a constant commitment on the part of the General Headquarters, with the General Council, and all Prayer Group spread throughout the world, to co-operate fully with the Holy Father’s directives.

It is our great hope that promulgation of the new Statutes will be a fresh stimulus to Padre Pio’s Prayer Groups to advance in the Christian formation of their members, through prayer, together with an active participation in the Church’s liturgical life, and with active charity to those who suffer, according to what Padre Pio has taught us.

All members of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups will accept the new Statutes with enthusiasm and joy; they will reflect on the principles inspiring them and the aims indicated by the Padre; their activities and initiatives will conform to the new Rules, and they will remember that, when acting in full adherence to the directives of the Pontifical Magisterium, they will be better able to achieve their own Christian formation through liturgical and community prayer out of love for the Lord and the suffering brethren.

– Monsignor Riccardo Ruotolo*

* Bishop Riccardo Ruotolo was Director General of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups when the Statutes were approved. Since then, Archbishop Domenico Umberto D’Ambrosio was appointed Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo and Delegate of the Holy See for the Shrine and Works of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.