DECREE – Dionysius Josephus Dei Et Apostolicae Sedis Grata Episcopus Camdensis




The much beloved Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, affectionately known as Padre Pio, was revered in his lifetime on account of the numerous spiritual and mystical gifts which God had bestowed upon him. A spiritual son of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Pio exercised the priestly ministry, as Saint Paul wrote, “carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested … ” (2Cor. 4: 10)

Consequently, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina was sought after for his counsel, his prayers, and in particular by those who journeyed to receive the Sacrament of Penance from him and to be in attendance as he offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

From the time of its erection on January 1, 2003, Saint Padre Pio Parish in Vineland, New Jersey, has had a special devotion to its patron saint. As a parish community, the people have manifested this devotion through activities which focus on the life and intercessory power of Saint Pio, as well as a genuine interest in his spirituality.

Mindful of the nature of a shrine as a “ … church or other sacred place to which numerous members of the faithful make pilgrimage for a special reason of piety …” (Can. 1230); and furthermore noting that for a shrine to be Diocesan, it must have the approval of the local ordinary, who is also competent to approve its statutes (Cf. Can. 1230; 1232, §1);


The establishment of the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina at the main parish church and campus of the Saint Padre Pio Parish in Vineland, New Jersey.

This Diocesan Shrine is limited only to the church of Our Lady of Pompeii and the campus at which that church building is situated.

I approve the statutes of the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina as submitted and instruct that they be adhered to for the orderly administration of this Diocesan Shrine; an entity located within but separate from the juridic person of Saint Padre Pio Parish.

The pastor of the Saint Padre Pio Parish, the Reverend Robert L. Sinatra, will also serve as the rector of the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina; his term as rector coinciding with his term as pastor.

This DECREE goes into effect immediately.

I instruct that this DECREE be communicated to the pastor and people of the Saint Padre Pio Parish, and that it be published in the Catholic Star Herald and on the Diocesan Website.

Finally, I urge the faithful of the Diocese of Camden to make pilgrimage to the Diocesan Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina; and that they do so in the spirit of those who sought out Saint Pio during his lifetime, as well as the numerous faithful who now invoke his heavenly intercession.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Vineland, on the Twenty Third Day of September, in the Year of Our Lord, 2018. The Feast Day of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

Dennis J. Sullivan

Bishop of Camden

in cuius fidem …

James L. Bartoloma