Devotees honor St. Padre Pio on his Feast Day PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 14:32

The St. Padre Pio Prayer Groups in the Archdiocese of Zamboanga— from Tetuan to far Vitali — remembered their patron saint through the traditional 9-day novena, which culminated on September 23rd, his Feast day. The Padre Pio Prayer Group Center based at the St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish,   started its observance of the Feast of St. Pio with a procession at dawn, followed by the celebration of the Holy Mass presided by the Most Reverend Romulo G. Valles, D.D., Archbishop of Zamboanga, and concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Adrian U. Barcelo, Archdiocesan Spiritual Director for parish based Padre Pio Prayer Groups, and Rev. Fr. Marciano Villagracia, parish priest of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Tetuan. The Padre Pio Prayer Group Center based in Tetuan Parish is officially registered and recognized in the International Center for Padre Pio Prayer Groups worldwide in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. Its Certificate of Recognition was hand carried by Fr. Andy from San Giovanni Rotondo. During the celebration of St. Pio’s Feast Day, the Prayer Group was presented by Fr. Andy Barcelo in a fitting ceremony to his Most Reverend Romulo Valles D.D. who formally proclaimed the Padre Pio Prayer Group Center and its Officers as the Archdiocesan Prayer Group of Zamboanga and has for its affiliates all other installed or to be installed Padre Pio Prayer Groups who are Parish based within the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.

Nine candidates who joined the Padre Pio Prayer Group were initiated by Most Rev. Valles, assisted by Rev. Fr. Adrian Barcelo. Sonia Natividad, the Archdiocesan Prayer Group Center Coordinator, presented the following candidates who were then inducted as new members: Elizabeth S. Salmon, Roland C. Salmon, Bemabela LI. Panganiban, Laura T. Fuerte, Florentina Lim, Marcela Castro, Zenaida Enriquez, and Antonia Sauza.

A sumptuous breakfast culminated the event held at the Parish rectory which was catered by the Alavar Seafood. Later in the afternoon, the Padre Pio Prayer Group of the St. Joseph Parish, the biggest ever Padre Pio Group with eighty-four members was formally initiated by Rev. Fr. Adrian Barcelo. The members were presented by Padre Pio Prayer Group Archdiocesan Coordinator Sonia Natividad who was accompanied by some of the Padre Pio Archdiocesan Officers.  Novenas of Padre Pio were later distributed to the members.

The St. Padre Pio Prayer Group was first organized at the St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish of Tetuan in 2004, propelled by the donation of an image of Padre Pio by Maria Monica “Ocheng” Natividad. In 2005, with the formal installation of 26  charter members, the Group became a mandated organization guided by its Spiritual Director, Rev. Fr. Barcelo.

The St. Padre Pio Prayer Group has for its apostolate the propagation of the devotion to St. Pio, corporal works of mercy, the offering of requested prayers from the sick, and engages, as well, in the enthronement of Padre Pio in parishes and hospitals, as part of their labor in God’s vineyard. It has enthroned at the Divine Mercy Chapel of Zamboanga Doctors’ Hospital, the chapel of the City Jail, St. Joseph Parish Church and in Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church in Vitali where the Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Barcelo and concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Jonathan Berdejo, the parish priest and Rev. Fr. Froilan Penuela. The enthronement in the different parishes is done with the approval and permission of its Archdiocesan Spiritual Director, Fr. Andy in coordination with the parish Priest of the respective Parish. At the St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Tetuan, St. Padre Pio is enshrined in the Garden of Reconciliation, where parishioners and visitors may pray and make their confessions in the open air on Wednesdays, from 4:00 p.m. The St. Padre Pio Prayer Group Center holds its monthly meeting with Eucharistic celebration every 23rd day of the month. There has grown many testimonials from a number of its members as well as devotees, who received the grace of healing from Santo Padre Pio.