On October 4th, Msgr. Joseph F. Loreti Council #3240 will launch its “Divine Mercy Pilgrimage for Persecuted Christians” cycling event from Roselle Park to Washington, D.C. The pilgrimage is a four-day 330-mile cycling journey in order to raise awareness and funds to benefit religiously persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
A team of five (5) cyclists and a support crew of three (3) – all Knights of Columbus – will begin their trek at Church Of The Assumption at 6:30 in the morning. Over the following four (4) days, the team will travel approximately 80 miles each day – which will include 16,000 feet of climbing – and will make stops at several prominent Catholic shrines. The sites include World Apostolate of Fatima in Asbury, New Jersey; Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Padre Pio Shrine in Barto, Pennsylvania; Our Lady of Lourdes/Mother Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, Maryland; and the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital.
A brief prayer service and blessing of the riders and crew which is open to the public will be held at 6:15 a.m. in front of the church.
The five (5) bicyclists are:
- Joseph DeMarco
- Thomas Grasso
- John Kennedy
- Joshua Medrano
- Brian Reilly
The support crew is:
- Ray Parenteau
- Bryan Peterson
- Bob Secatello
“This is our way of remembering and helping those Christians who have had families, homes, and communities destroyed, and who have suffered so greatly in recent years,” says pilgrimage spokesman Thomas Grasso, a member of Council #3240, “Although any suffering we endure on our bikes pales in comparison to the daily uncertainties and torments these people face, the pilgrimage helps brings us into communion with them as members of the universal church. In our view, as Knights of Columbus and fellow Christians, we owe it to them and to all people who suffer persecution because of their religious faith.”
Anyone wishing to financially support the Knights of Columbus’ “Christian Refugee Relief Fund” can visit their donation page (link). Pilgrimage sponsorships are available at the $100, $250, $500, and $1000 levels.