The Retreat/Spiritual Exercises
In October 2018, the Saint Pio Foundation sponsored “A journey with Padre Pio,” a retreat/pilgrimage in Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, for 25 priests that reside in Rome. The spiritual leader of the group was His Eminence Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a member of the Religious Advisory Council of the Saint Pio Foundation. Starting from 2019, the Saint Pio Foundation tries to sponsor an annual retreat/pilgrimage for groups of 50 participating American priests. All expenses, including round trip airfare from New York to Rome, will be covered by the Saint Pio Foundation.
The pilgrimage would include spiritual exercises that will be directed by members of the religious institution “Serving of the Suffering,” founded by Msgr. Pierino Galeone, one of the few friends of Saint Pio still alive. Msgr. Galeone was recognized as a witness of singular importance during the beatification and canonization process of St. Pio because of his unique relationship to the saint. During the spiritual exercises, meditations will be offered that focus on the gospel and on the spirituality of "Serving of the Suffering," typical of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. These meditations will refer to the teachings of the great saint and the stories told by his most authoritative witnesses. His example of dedication to God and the Church, between the altar and the confessional, will be a fountain of inspiration for every priest.