Padre PioIn a world armed for war, Padre Pio wanted a world armed with prayer:

“Prayer is the best weapon we have, and the key to God’s heart.”

Understanding the value and need to pray always, Padre Pio accepted the repeated pleas of Pope Pius XII who saw the dangers that his spiritual children would encounter as the world in which they were called to live as pilgrims and strangers moved further away from God-centered values.

His pleas for a greater commitment to prayer and a deeper Christian life were expressed throughout his Pontificate: “We need strong groups of adults and youth, who, keeping themselves closely united with Christ, gather at least once a month for the Bread of Life and encourage others to do the same.” (February 17, 1942) “Do not fear, pray.” (March 13, 1943)

Padre Pio in 1947 then encouraged the faithful to gather in groups to pray according to the intentions of the Holy Father as a support for the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (Home for the Relief of Suffering), in San Giovanni Rotondo of Foggia, Italy.

Some 4,000 Prayer Groups now exist, mostly in other countries, that abide by strict statutes.  The statutes combine a unique set of operating standards that make for ministry, mission, volunteerism, and work on behalf of marginalized people; all told fostering stewardship in its fullest sense.

The Good Shepherd Parish PPPG (Padre Pio Prayer Group) arose foremost in response to the disparate direction that men find themselves having to take from each other just to be able to continue to lead their families.  This variety in direction has fragmented men from a sense of community with each other known to be essential for parish solidarity.  Often, this fragmentation has suffered on the home-front. Through spiritual direction from Fr. Nagle, we attend to our faith with prayer, refresh it in formational study, and fulfill it from the fruit of the prayer as it serves to bring us to do what needs to be done on behalf of others.

The PPPG meets every Sunday evening at St. Augustine’s Church from 6:00-7:30 pm. The formal monthly meeting for an hour is after the 5 pm Sunday Mass, on the last Sunday of each month.  To date since early last year, the meeting is “devotional” in purpose.  Members can elect to attend the same meeting time during the rest of the month, with mid-month for the Catechism of the Catholic Church presented by Deacon Buder.

The other two meetings after Sunday Mass right now focus upon what Padre Pio statutes call the “specific rule.”  It is this rule that permits for all PPPGs to exceed the devotional meetings that are usually reserved for prayer in one shape, form, or another, exceed meaning that evangelization notions get considered that warrant mission effort of members to materialize.  There is interest, for example, in Johnny Appleseeding small business through auspices of the Church as a means by which to expand employment opportunity with marginalized people; such a notion possesses evangelization power of its own along with promoting solidarity and family solvency, and even promising another form of tithing from the fruit of new labor.

Membership is available to those who wish for it.  One meeting per month with a Mass by the Spiritual Director is the only requirement for membership.

For more information, please call Hal Lynch at 508-939-0083, hfjlynch@gmail.com

Check out the PPPG-USA website: Padre Pio Prayer Group USA