Padre Pio Prayer Groups USA

Membership in the Prayer Groups

Padre Pio Prayer Groups

National Office

St. Francis Renewal Center
1901 Prior Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Re: Membership in the Prayer Groups February 2010
Dear Spiritual Children and Friends of Padre Pio,

The Lord give you His Peace!

There has been something on my mind that I believe must be addressed for the sake of truth and the integrity of the Association of the Prayer Groups. I have hesitated writing this letter because I believe that some will be offended and others, for the sake of friendships, will criticize and maybe even give ultimatums to their Groups.

One of the strong characteristics of the spirit of St. Pio of Pietrelcina was his undisputed obedience and fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Father. Padre Pio made it quite clear that any who would be his spiritual children must wholeheartedly express that same faithfulness and love for the Church, Holy Father, Sacraments, etc.

Participation in the Association of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups, canonically erected, and guided by the Delegate of the Holy See, Monsignor Michele Castoro, Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, assures us of an approved and confirmed means of achieving spiritual growth and perfection. St. Pio of Pietrelcina expected his ‘spiritual children’ in the Prayer Groups to be faithful to the following:

1. To live intensely in God’s grace and make use of the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation often;
2. To live one’s faith in words and actions, in a true Christian life;
3. To make prayer, especially intercessory and reparatory prayer, a daily practice;
4. To love Jesus Christ Crucified, the Most Blessed Sacrament, Our Blessed Mother, the Holy Father and the Roman Catholic Church;
5. To be pro-active and animated by a sincere spirit of charity towards all.

Unless one is a baptized Christian in full communion with the Church of Rome, it is impossible to fulfill all the conditions listed. Each Prayer Group is autonomous, however, our unity as one ‘spiritual body’ is founded on the basic statutes that fulfill the stipulations Padre Pio offered for one desiring to be his ‘spiritual child’. Thus, only baptized Catholics in union with Rome can be accepted as full members of the Prayer Groups. There are many non- Catholics who revere Padre Pio and are devoted to his memory. I am sure that God blesses them and Padre Pio intercedes for them. Nevertheless, not being able to fulfill all the requisites, they cannot officially be members of the Prayer Groups.

These brief, and I hope clear and straightforward remarks, are in response to a number of questions and requests regarding the possibility of permitting those not of the Latin or Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church or even of a non- Christian expression of faith to be permitted to be officially inducted as members of the Prayer Groups. The requisites for full and valid admission into the Padre Pio Prayer Groups does not depend on an arbitrary decision made by one individual or group (National or International Councils), but by the design of the Founder and the nature itself of the Association of the Groups.

I pray this letter may dispel some confusion regarding the matter of valid membership in the Association of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups. The integrity of our charism is founded on our fidelity to the Gospel, the Church, and the directives of our Founder.

Invoking God’s blessings on you, Our Heavenly Mother’s protection, and Padre Pio’s loving care, I wish you…
Peace and Blessings
Fr. Francis A. Sariego, O.F.M. Cap.
National Coordinator