Injured teen’s devotion to St. Pio inspires retreat, upcoming pilgrimage

July 17, 2023 at 1:48 p.m.


The community of St. Peter Church, Point Pleasant, gathered July 15 for a spiritual retreat supporting Aaron Van Trease, injured football player and recent graduate of St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel. The retreat focused on the teachings and healing works of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, or “Padre Pio,” who is known for his suffering, humility and miracles. 
Mike Manhardt, guest speaker and American film producer of the faith-based, pro-life film, “Unplanned,” spoke passionately about unconditional, selfless and sacrificial love 

In honor of Van Trease, who has devoted much of his time and prayer to Padre Pio on his road to recovery, more than 200 attendees were treated to Padre Pio witness talks and a traditional Foggian lunch prepared by retreat host, Joe Introna, local owner of the famous Italian eatery Joe Leone’s, an Italian Specialties Grocery Store and Catering company.

“Our goal today is to ask people to continue to pray to St. Pio and get Aaron moving again,” said Introna, who stressed the importance of faith and the power of positivity – qualities Van Trease has mastered throughout his time healing and recovering from a devastating spinal cord injury last fall.

PHOTO GALLERY: Padre Pio Retreat

A devoted follower of Padre Pio from an early age, Introna shared life-changing apparitions of Padre Pio at critical moments in his life. Being a high school football coach and parent, Leone immediately connected to Van Trease and his family, and relayed the healing powers of Padre Pio through devoted prayer and constant intercession. Leone pointed out that Van Trease’s life-altering injury occurred on Sept. 23, St. Pio’s feast day. Aaron, his family and Introna spent the following months in dedicated prayer to Padre Pio.

Mike Manhardt, guest speaker and American film producer of the faith-based, pro-life film, “Unplanned,” spoke passionately about unconditional, selfless and sacrificial love. He centered his talk around the F.A.M.I.L.Y. acronym, which stands for Forget About Me I Love You. This message encourages people to live a selfless life, caring unconditionally for others, and promotes putting others before yourself.

“Keep the attitude of F.A.M.I.L.Y., and become selfless, loving and unconditional,” Manhardt said. “In spreading the message of F.A.M.I.L.Y., we’re spreading the message of love. We’re spreading the message of the Gospel; selfless, loving, unconditional. That’s what it’s all about.”

Warren, close friend of Leone and witness added, “Walk this walk with me; through prayer and devotion to Padre Pio, miracles happen. Aaron is a miracle.” An eight-year cancer survivor, Warren shared that grace has carried him through life, and he reminded attendees to “find joy in everything that you do.”

Closing the retreat, honoree Van Trease presented a short film he made documenting his recovery; from his initial days post-injury through rehabilitation, highlighting miraculous milestones. Throughout the video, the caption on the screen read, “Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless,” the famous words of Padre Pio.

Van Trease spoke of the harsh reality he faced when medical staff said he would most likely be on a ventilator or breathing apparatus for the rest of his life. He spoke of the strength of prayer which greatly impacted and shaped his path to recovery. Modeling the teachings of Padre Pio, Van Trease tearfully and humbly asked for prayers for his fellow classmate and friend who is battling leg cancer.

On Sept. 2, the One Strong Family organization will be hosting a pilgrimage to Padre Pio’s shrine in San Giovanni, Italy to celebrate Van Trease’s recovery. For more information, visit: https://www.canterburypilgrimages.com/tour/italy-with-f-a-m-i-l-y/


 



The community of St. Peter Church, Point Pleasant, gathered July 15 for a spiritual retreat supporting Aaron Van Trease, injured football player and recent graduate of St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel. The retreat focused on the teachings and healing works of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, or “Padre Pio,” who is known for his suffering, humility and miracles. 
Mike Manhardt, guest speaker and American film producer of the faith-based, pro-life film, “Unplanned,” spoke passionately about unconditional, selfless and sacrificial love 

In honor of Van Trease, who has devoted much of his time and prayer to Padre Pio on his road to recovery, more than 200 attendees were treated to Padre Pio witness talks and a traditional Foggian lunch prepared by retreat host, Joe Introna, local owner of the famous Italian eatery Joe Leone’s, an Italian Specialties Grocery Store and Catering company.

“Our goal today is to ask people to continue to pray to St. Pio and get Aaron moving again,” said Introna, who stressed the importance of faith and the power of positivity – qualities Van Trease has mastered throughout his time healing and recovering from a devastating spinal cord injury last fall.

PHOTO GALLERY: Padre Pio Retreat

A devoted follower of Padre Pio from an early age, Introna shared life-changing apparitions of Padre Pio at critical moments in his life. Being a high school football coach and parent, Leone immediately connected to Van Trease and his family, and relayed the healing powers of Padre Pio through devoted prayer and constant intercession. Leone pointed out that Van Trease’s life-altering injury occurred on Sept. 23, St. Pio’s feast day. Aaron, his family and Introna spent the following months in dedicated prayer to Padre Pio.

Mike Manhardt, guest speaker and American film producer of the faith-based, pro-life film, “Unplanned,” spoke passionately about unconditional, selfless and sacrificial love. He centered his talk around the F.A.M.I.L.Y. acronym, which stands for Forget About Me I Love You. This message encourages people to live a selfless life, caring unconditionally for others, and promotes putting others before yourself.

“Keep the attitude of F.A.M.I.L.Y., and become selfless, loving and unconditional,” Manhardt said. “In spreading the message of F.A.M.I.L.Y., we’re spreading the message of love. We’re spreading the message of the Gospel; selfless, loving, unconditional. That’s what it’s all about.”

Warren, close friend of Leone and witness added, “Walk this walk with me; through prayer and devotion to Padre Pio, miracles happen. Aaron is a miracle.” An eight-year cancer survivor, Warren shared that grace has carried him through life, and he reminded attendees to “find joy in everything that you do.”

Closing the retreat, honoree Van Trease presented a short film he made documenting his recovery; from his initial days post-injury through rehabilitation, highlighting miraculous milestones. Throughout the video, the caption on the screen read, “Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless,” the famous words of Padre Pio.

Van Trease spoke of the harsh reality he faced when medical staff said he would most likely be on a ventilator or breathing apparatus for the rest of his life. He spoke of the strength of prayer which greatly impacted and shaped his path to recovery. Modeling the teachings of Padre Pio, Van Trease tearfully and humbly asked for prayers for his fellow classmate and friend who is battling leg cancer.

On Sept. 2, the One Strong Family organization will be hosting a pilgrimage to Padre Pio’s shrine in San Giovanni, Italy to celebrate Van Trease’s recovery. For more information, visit: https://www.canterburypilgrimages.com/tour/italy-with-f-a-m-i-l-y/


 


Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Pope: Humility is the 'gateway to all virtues’
Though not found on the classical list of cardinal or theological virtues, ...

Pope: Palliative care is 'concrete sign' of solidarity with those who are suffering
Palliative care seeks "to alleviate the ...

St. John Vianney softball rallies to win SCT title game
The process has been completed.

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
This Sunday, the Church throughout the world celebrates the ...

Knights' success built on founder's desire for charity
In many ways, Father Michael J. McGivney was just ...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.