May 22, 2012

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information, contact:

Deacon Thomas Gornick  

503-233-8335

tgronick@archdpdx.org

 5th Annual Blessing of the Bikes

            The parish of St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Archdiocese of Portland’s Department of Evangelization announce the fifth annual “Blessing of the Bikes,” on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 2 PM in the courtyard of the Cathedral.  The parish is located at the corner of NW 18th and Couch Street in the heart of Northwest Portland, and is bordered by bike lanes on NW 18th and Everett Street.  The Catholic community and parish values and raises up the contribution that cyclists make to the community and the environment. Cycling in Portland contributes a significant element to our cultural mosaic. The cyclists bring a special life to our neighborhood and city whether they ride for recreation, commuting or competition. The Archdiocese and Cathedral parish will welcome everyone to celebrate and recognize our bicycling community.  Since the Blessing event in 2012, the Archdiocese and metropolitan area has had ten individuals killed in fatal accidents. The Blessing service will remember Michael Vu, Dale D. Beacock, Diego Reyes, Dustin Finney, Michele Portmann, Dave Apperson Hank Bersani, Benjamin Fulwiler, Kathryn Rickson and Steven Y. Dayley. The service will also pray for all those injured while cycling in our city. “Cyclists and cycling make many significant contributions to our community. Cyclists are represented in all parts of our community; they are members of the parish and staff; they attend our services,” says Deacon Thomas Gornick, Director of Evangelization and member of the Cathedral, “St. Mary’s is bounded by the bike lanes on 18th Avenue and Everett Street, many cyclists daily pass our church.  We invite everyone to bring their bikes and celebrate the many miles ridden each day.”

            The Portland Bike Blessing has been held each June since 2008 with cyclists coming from around the metro area. The gatherings have included members of the family of cyclists who died the previous year, City of Portland Office of Transportation, leaders from the cycling community and officers from the Portland Bureau of Police. The blessing brings together first timers and some who come every year.

            “The Catholic community has a long tradition of recognizing the cyclist” said Deacon Gornick, a regular bike commuter. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the competitors and organizers of the Tour de France, as the riders passed through the Val d’Aosta. On October 13, 1949, Pope Pius XII formally named Our Lady of Ghisallo as the patroness of cyclists.  The chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Ghisallo is located at the top of a steep hill in the Lake Como region of Italy.  An eternal flame burns at the chapel in memory of those cyclists who have died.

            All cyclists are invited to attend the Blessing of the Bikes, Sunday, June 10 at 2:00 pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Blessing of the Bikes

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

(St. Mary’s)

NW 18th and Couch

Sunday - June 10, 2012

2-2:30 PM (Rain or Shine)

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