1999-08-14 / Columnists

Meet The Irish

by Harry McGuirk

St. Rose Parish of Rockaway Beach is having a busy time this month. Then again, is there any time when the parish is slack?

The newest saint to be blessed, Padre Pio, is to have his church size statue in place in any of the Rockaway churches. You’ll find him in the small chapel of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This of course is at 84 street beside the beach. The statue came directly from Rome and to his followers it’s a cead mile failthe.

One hundred thousand welcomes.

Padre Pio joined the Franciscan-Capuchin order at an early age. He rejected military service. He was living in the 1960s so we could accept that he’d be against the war in Vietnam. During the Second World War American bomber command sent out a flight of bombers to destroy a monastery in Italy. Close to target a face appeared in the window of the flight leader with its hands outstretched and arms also extended. The pilot was so shocked the bombing rais was aborted. The monastery was saved where many innocent people were sheltered. Intelligence had been given "bum" information and many lives were saved. Years later the pilot discovered who the face belonged to. It was Padre Pio.

I’m sure we all pay tribute to all the churches and all the religious and lay people on the peninsula.

We hear there is a possibility that Vera Callandra will be coming again from the Shrine of Padre Pio. Check with Father Peter at St. Rose.

Blessed Pio bore the wounds and pain of Christ throughout his lifetime. His order demanded poverty and denial and love of the poor and deprived. The people turned out to the first St. Rose homage and service of healing and return to sacraments. Millions turned out from all over the world to Rome for his installation blessed by the Pope. It’s nice to imagine a saint walking in your community. St. Rose will have a fund raiser. It’s like a mini Coney Island on 84 street near the beachside. Come on out with your family and friends. Make it a happy birthday Friday or Saturday, or Sunday, for Father Peter Gillian, pastor; Father McGee; Father Anthony Casey; Father Flannery and lay members of the parish. God bless them all.


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