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Church of the Holy Ghost Holds Padre Pio Night

Blessed Padre Pio received the stigmata, the five wounds of the crucified Christ.

Last Sunday, more than a hundred faithful gathered at in Tiverton for Padre Pio Night, which honored Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, an Italian friar who received the stigmata, the five wounds of the crucified Jesus Christ.

Entering the dimly-lit sanctuary for the Holy Hour, the worshippers were greeted by flickering red candles and the music of crickets who chirped outside the open stained-glass windows. A statue of the beloved Capuchin friar, wearing the traditional brown robe of his order, stood on the altar. Spotlights illuminated statues of Mary
and Joseph, who held the baby Jesus, as well as high above the altar an icon of the Holy Spirit and hovering angels.

Kneeling or sitting in silent prayer, the congregation meditated on the life of Padre Pio. Born in Pietrelcina, a village in southern Italy, on May 25, 1887, the future saint entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at 15 and was ordained a priest in 1910. On Sept. 20, 1918, the five wounds appeared on his body. People flocked to him for counsel and spiritual guidance, and his whole life was marked by long hours of prayer, austerity and constant apostolic activity. His letters reveal his intense physical suffering, as well as his deep union with God and burning love for the Eucharist and Mary. He died on Sept. 23, 1968 in San Giovanni Rotondo and was declared “Blessed” by Pope John Paul II on May 2, 1999.

The choir led the assembly in singing the hymn “Beautiful Savior,” and then Father Pio Mandato, who was also born in Pietrelcina and received his First Holy Communion from the hand of Padre Pio, approached the lectern to talk about the future saint.

Mandato said that Padre Pio spent his life in “deep, deep love,” solely influenced by Jesus Christ, and that his great love worked many miracles.

He told the story of Brother Daniel, a member of Padre Pio’s order who left the friary and was on his way to the hospital to have surgery for a hernia. Brother Daniel prayed for the intercession of Padre Pio. At the hospital, he was examined by the doctor who told him the hernia was gone.

Mandato said that Padre Pio accomplished great things because he was influenced by Jesus Christ.

“When you look at our days, many of them are spent unconsciously,” said Mandato. “My dad with a fifth-grade education would say to me Communism had nothing over us in western pagan society. They forcefully influenced people, forced them to think in a certain way. We don’t live in a totalitarian government, but in our society we have the media that tells us what to do, what to eat, how to dress, how to think, what to believe in or not to believe in – and they are getting more and more forceful. Those influences are all around us. They lead and guide us.”

But he said that believers seek God’s influence and regard others more than themselves.

“Jesus emptied himself taking the form of a slave, and we self-empty and give ourselves to others,” he said. “If we live this way, we will be filled with joy. We want to be influenced by His life, and what a great gift that is! I believe in Him, and I reach for Him rather than everything else around me.”

At the conclusion of the talk, the choir sang, and the people came forward kneeling at the altar. Father Jay A. Finelli, pastor of the Church of the Holy Ghost, touched their forehead with holy oil and prayed. Mandato laid hands on them while holding a relic of Padre Pio and offered healing prayers as well.

“Pray, hope, and don't worry,” said Blessed Padre Pio. “Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer."   



malcom lagauche October 02, 2011 at 04:31 PM
The media are definitely deficient in succumbing to brainwashing the public not only in its content, but in the endless advertising that tells you what you must own to be considered an asttue part of US society. However, to non-believers, we are bombarded daily with religious statements and thoughts outside places of worship. A believer is not as keen in observing this brainwashing as a non-believer. My point was that this news article went beyond merely reporting the event and seemed like a religious lecture. If someone wants to hear this, they have every right to go to church where they can listen and discuss the matter.
malcom lagauche October 02, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Excellent research, Robert E. Archaeology and history dismiss many myths.
Mavis Hucker October 02, 2011 at 05:09 PM
@Robert, malcolm, Mike, etc, etc: It always amazes me that you unbelievers rail against the Church and demand that speaking of God be kept inside the Churches premises, buildings, etc. Yet, you seem quite free to examine your dis-belief in a public forum as if you are the only ones who should have freedom of speech on anything and everything! Remember ...you don't have to listen to, read or discuss religion and God, just because others do ... after all, GOD did give you complete freedom to ignore Him and what He says to his followers! Why then would it not be proper for you to give that same freedom to His believers??? You give your opinions in any and every public forum that you please ... why is it proper for you and not for the believers????
Mike October 02, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Hey Mavis, please don't include me in your rant. All I said was I was sick of this focus on hocus-pocus "news." I defend Linda's right to her beliefs, as well as her right to author a human interest story about god, religion, history, etc. If the Patch is willing to publish it, I can choose to read it, boycott the Patch, or express my opinion (as I did). Furthermore, I'm kind of glad this stuff gets published -- it exposes all the superstition and ceremony. Finally, why do you use more than one question mark after your interrogations? I really get that you're asking a question.
Robert E October 02, 2011 at 09:38 PM
@ Mavis: I never said you could not speak about your god I was just expressing my opinion and never said you coulden't express yours. Next time read what someone wrote not what you think they were writing before you start to comment. Please show me where in my comment I said you didn't have a right to your beliefs or a freedom to express them. I experss my beliefs you express yours thats called a discussion.
Mavis Hucker October 02, 2011 at 10:03 PM
@Mike ...and the question marks give you the problem???? Hahahahahaha! I didn't know there was a shortage of question marks!!!! Is it that you think there won't be any left for "your rant"???? (Oh yeh ... where did you say: "I was sick of this focus on hocus-pocus "news." Perhaps you should go back and read what you actually did say! ...... wierd!
Mike October 02, 2011 at 11:55 PM
You mean, weird? I said, "Yeah, kind of getting tired of seeing this crazy crap too." "hocus-pocus" or "crazy crap" is basically the same to me :)
malcom lagauche October 03, 2011 at 01:39 AM
I started this discussion not as a debate between atheism and Christianity, but as a journalist with more than 20 years under my belt. In my opinion, this is a horrendous piece of journalism for a local newspaper. It is laden with religious thoughts and quotes, some quite bigoted. And, a report is supposed to include information such as time and date and this one does not even have this basic information. I have been the editor of a similar newspaper in California and we always ran church-related events, such as a barbeque or rummage sale and gave information about the event. We never delved into such long-winded religious talk because that is not reporting. I have written hundreds of reports in my career and no one would know my political or religious views. That's the way it's supposed to be.
malcom lagauche October 03, 2011 at 01:49 AM
(continued) Recently, a leading news item concerned a pastor saying the end is near. If you check out his background, he sells homophobic books. And, the Patch did a wonderful job in its series on the Tiverton Gay/Straight Alliance, yet makes a bigot the star of its lead story. I spent my first 27 years in Tiverton and I was thrilled to see the beginning of the Tiverton Patch. The community needs a publication like this. I read with anticipation every article about last year's Tiverton High School baskeball team and, as I mentioned, also the series on the Gay/Straight Alliance. Since the beginning of 2011, the Patch has published eight feature articles about Tiverton churches that read more like a church sermon, not a newspaper report. If the churches have a publication, that's the place for these articles, not as a mainstream piece of journaism. It would be like writing an article about a nature event to be held in Fort Barton woods and then begin to write about evolutionary biology and quote Richard Dawkins about how he believes religion is holding back science. That would not be appropriate. Neither is all the religioisty that has permeated the Patch.
Mike October 03, 2011 at 02:06 AM
OK, so this not going to win a Pulitzer, but the comments you're offended by (me too) were attributed to Mandato, not the author. Is this journalism? Hardly. Quotes are not attributed in appropriate places, the first paragraph already states as fact something that is alleged, etc. It's more like a descriptive essay, but this is the Tiverton-Little Compton Patch, not the New York Times. I know we as a society continue to lower our standards, but I'm very grateful to have at least some kind of relevant and regular news source for the area.
malcom lagauche October 03, 2011 at 02:35 AM
I am grateful as well. I only wish that basic practices of journalism were included: who, what, where? Quotes are a double-edged sword. They are chosen by the author and can be used to make someone look good or bad. On the other hand, I grew up on Riverside Drive and the Patch gives the most information about the new Sakonnet Bridge. Also, I see that a building erected in 1899 and was a disused structure that stunk of fish that I used as a backstop for pitching practice in my younger years is now a thriving bait business. These are the great items for Tiverton expatriates to read. I only hope that when the new Sakonnet River Bridge is inaugurated that there won't be some pastor or priest to open it and the story will focus on biblical statements about bridges.
Mike October 03, 2011 at 02:52 AM
"I only hope that when the new Sakonnet River Bridge is inaugurated that there won't be some pastor or priest to open it and the story will focus on biblical statements about bridges." That's definitely my hope too. And you could always move back to Tiverton and write for the Patch :)
malcom lagauche October 03, 2011 at 04:00 AM
My wife visits every year. But, as the years have gone by, the old body has been battered, much by my sports career. The weather would not be kind to either mine or my wife's body. I defnitely keep in touch with old friends. The saddest occurrence in Tiverton, to me, was the demolition of the old railroad bridge. I grew up about 100 yards from it and I still can't get used to seeing pictures of an empty space where it once stood. I am about two-thirds away from finishing my book "Growing Up Young." It's about a Tiverton childhood. The railroad bridge plays an important part of the book. Thanks for your comments.
Mike October 03, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Please let me know when the book is finished. I enjoy reading anything about the area. I think I've read all of the major books about the Sarah Maria Cornell murder, and I just finished James Chace's "What We Had." Thanks!
malcom lagauche October 03, 2011 at 12:40 PM
It should be out sometime in 2012. If you can get my e-mail address from the Patch (we all had to supply one when registering), send me a message and I'll send you a JPEG of the cover and also a few photos from the book. It's not a historical look at Tiverton. It's an anthology of personal stories about my interaction with places like Fort Barton School, Pocasset School, Riverside Drive, Fort Barton Woods, the Tiverton Little League, Nanaquaket Pond, the Sakonnet River, the Ponta Del Gada Drive-in Theater, the Essex Library and other venues in which Tivertonians participated in life.
Joe Sousa. October 03, 2011 at 01:51 PM
Freedom of speech is applied equally. God Bless America!!!!!!
Mike Rego October 03, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Hi Malcom, May I suggest you submit a story to Patch regarding your book? I am looking forward to reading it. You touched on many of the places I remember as well. I am looking forward to reading it.
Joe Sousa. October 03, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Freedom of speech is applied equally. God Bless America!!!!!!!
Tiverton Dad October 03, 2011 at 11:01 PM
The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote about many of the people mentioned in the bible including John the Baptist and a prophet named Jesus. Jesus almost definitely existed. Whether he was Christ is a matter of faith, not historical evidence.
Tiverton Dad October 03, 2011 at 11:17 PM
I have replaced some words within the following quote from the above story. The replaced words are in brackets. [The church] forcefully influenced people, forced them to think in a certain way. We don’t live in a totalitarian government, but in our society we have the [fundamentalists] that tell us what to do, what to eat, how to dress, how to think, what to believe in or not to believe in – and they are getting more and more forceful. Those influences are all around us. They lead and guide us.” There, I think I fixed it. (Disclaimer: The above post was written as satire and should be read in this way. Satire is protected by the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post.)
stoney larue October 04, 2011 at 01:15 AM
Well only dumb Joe Sousa could possibly link this story to the NEA. Oh well don't forget he did support Dan the woman beater Gordon in his run for office. What is that saying about birds of a feather endorsing each other for office.
malcom lagauche October 04, 2011 at 01:31 AM
I definitely will send information to The Patch when I am close to having the book ready, Mike. For the past few years, my writing has mostly consisted of heavy politics and sociology. But, I am having fun writing this and I also am writing a book called "Mastering the Knuckleball." It will be the most definitive book about the elusive pitch. We've come a long way in this link from discussing Holy Ghost Church to childhood experiences and baseball. That's the beauty of writing. Words represent art.
Robert E October 04, 2011 at 02:06 AM
No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people. There occurs no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. Devastating to historians, there occurs not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either: unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings. Although one can argue that many of these writings come from fraud or interpolations, even if these sources did not come from interpolations, they could still not serve as reliable evidence for a historical Jesus, simply because all sources about Jesus derive from hearsay accounts.Virtually all other claims of Jesus come from sources outside of Christian writings. Devastating to the claims of Christians, however, comes from the fact that all of these accounts come from authors who lived after the alleged life of Jesus. Since they did not live during the time of the hypothetical Jesus, none of their accounts serve as eyewitness evidence.
Robert E October 04, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father, Josephus' birth in 37 C.E., puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written! Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay. What appears most revealing of all, comes not from what people later wrote about Jesus but what people did not write about him. Consider that not a single historian, philosopher, scribe or follower who lived before or during the alleged time of Jesus ever mentions him!
Robert E October 04, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Take, for example, the works of Philo Judaeus who's birth occurred in 20 B.C.E. and died 50 C.E. He lived as the greatest Jewish-Hellenistic philosopher and historian of the time and lived in the area of Jerusalem during the alleged life of Jesus. He wrote detailed accounts of the Jewish events that occurred in the surrounding area. Yet not once, in all of his volumes of writings, do we read a single account of a Jesus "the Christ." Nor do we find any mention of Jesus in Seneca's writings, nor from the historian Pliny the Elder If, indeed, such a well known Jesus existed, as the gospels allege, does any reader here think it reasonable that, at the very least, the fame of Jesus would not have reached the ears of one of these men? Amazingly, we have not one Jewish, Greek, or Roman writer, even those who lived in the Middle East, much less anywhere else on the earth, who ever mention him during his supposed life time. This appears quite extraordinary, and you will find few Christians who dare mention this embarrassing fact.
Robert E October 04, 2011 at 02:15 AM
To illustrate this extraordinary absence of Jesus Christ literature, just imagine going through nineteenth century literature looking for an Abraham Lincoln but unable to find a single mention of him in any writing on earth until the 20th century. Yet straight-faced Christians and historians want you to buy a factual Jesus out of a dearth void of evidence, and rely on nothing but hearsay written well after his purported life. Considering that most Christians believe that Jesus lived as God on earth, the Almighty gives an embarrassing example for explaining his existence. You'd think a Creator might at least have the ability to bark up some good solid evidence.
Joe Sousa. October 04, 2011 at 02:39 AM
TheNEA forcefully influenced people, forced them to think in a certain way. We don’t live in a totalitarian government, but in our society we have the [NEA Leadership] that tell us what to do, what to eat, how to dress, how to think, what to believe in or not to believe in – and they are getting more and more forceful. Those influences are all around us. They lead and guide us.” John Lidecker NEA RI. There, I think I fixed it.
Tiverton Dad October 04, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Robert, my point was that faith can exist despite the absence of evidence, and that the absence of evidence does not necessarily contradict faith. Whether or not the available information meets your standard of evidence is irrelevant to the choice that people make to believe.
Tiverton Dad October 04, 2011 at 05:19 PM
See, isn't this fun. It works for just about everyone, except of course for people who are smart enough to not be led around by the nose by a special interest group.
Max Staples October 04, 2011 at 07:04 PM
God and Christ are not a myth!! I have developed a relationship with God while living on this earth for 73 years. When I was young I studied the doctrines and principles taught by Jesus Christ. These principles have guided me during my day to day life. I do know that God lives and answers prayers. I have personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is my Savior. I know that he lives just as well if he was standing next to me. A person must walk in my shoes to know other wise. I suggest that a nonreligious person can not leave religion alone. The author of a religious article should not be attacked.

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