Bless This Creature Motorcycle

June 5, 2014

On the hot and sunny Sunday afternoon of June 1, Greg Maturi, O.P., pastor of St. Dominic’s Church in Youngstown, Ohio, blessed over 50 motorcyclists and their bikes in what has become an annual event at the church on the South side of Youngstown. A slideshow of photos from the event can be found below. Each of the two previous yearly motorcycle blessings had similar good weather and numerous bikers. All stayed for at least some time to socialize at the barbecue cookout that followed the blessing, though the clear weather tempted a number to head out to ride without lingering too long over the burgers and soda. The food and refreshments were nearly all donations (mainly from local businessmen and those who had especially enjoyed previous motorcycle blessings), and other bikers chipped in as volunteers to sweat over the grill to prepare the food. The riders included a diverse group of men and women ranging from young adults to a few retirees. Some were formally organized motorcycle riding clubs, one a former judge (retired), and even a few priests (Fr. Michael Marcelli, parochial vicar at nearby St. Charles Borromeo parish in neighboring Boardman, OH; Fr. Greg Maturi; and a Presbyterian pastor). At least two other priests, Fr. Joseph Rudjak and Fr. Stephen Popovich, who often ride with Fr. Greg and other “holy riders” couldn’t make it this time – Fr. Joseph had blessed many other motorcyclists and their bikes a few days earlier on Memorial Day, and Fr. Stephen was unable to come due to injuries in a (non-motorcycle) automobile accident. On a lighter note, Fr. Greg joked that he was tempted to bless not only the bikes and riders with the blessing for means of transportation – specified as motorcycles in this case – but also simply to give the bikers “last rites” (those who were baptized, of course) and bid them happy riding. The event was also written up in the local Youngstown newspaper. That article is available here. A slideshow of the event can be found below.

More News & Events