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Bikes & Blessings

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Brace yourselves, Chicago Catholics. A motorcycle mass is coming to southwest Chicagoland.

It may sound strange, but in this case the event is exactly what the name implies. St. Bernadette's Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, Illinois is hosting their second annual Motorcycle Mass. At this event, bikers come from all over the Chicagoland area to attend an outdoor mass, and receive a special blessing for them and their hogs.

The priest behind these unique event is Fr. Benedykt Pazdan the pastor of St. Bernadette's. For this year's motorcycle mass, the event will include a barbecue, motorcycle stunts show by LB Stunts, and musical entertainment by the band Railroad Gin, with many other surprises in store. St. Bernadette's Motorcycle Mass and Barbecue is being scheduled for June 7, 2014 at the 4:00 pm Although the event includes a special blessing for bikers, all are welcome to attend. Parking will be available nearby at Little Company of Mary's parking lots, both north of the Church and south of the Church.

The event is being advertised prominently on St. Bernadette's website and Facebook page with the tag line “Come receive the Holy Spirit as your co-pilot for the riding season!” Although it is a regular Catholic Mass and all are asked to respectful during the service, bikers are encouraged to "come as you ride", so there will probably be some rather interesting guests at the outdoor mass next week. And while St. Bernadette's parish received plenty of fame for being the ones to pioneer this type of event in the Chicago area last year, its also gaining popularity elsewhere around the country. For example, St. Roch Catholic Church in Michigan recently hosted a motorcycle mass with a special blessing for bikers.

Visitors are encouraged to call or email in advance to R.S.V.P. if you plan on visiting St. Bernadette's for the first time during the motorcycle mass, but it is not required. Free popcorn will also be available during the barbecue, and drinks may be purchased. You can learn more on St. Bernadette's website and facebook page.

I'm guessing most of my readers have never been to a motorcycle mass. Well, consider this your opportunity.