Many of you know that our Cathedral household is full of runners – you might see one of us sometimes heading out the back patio when Mass is about to start. As much as I enjoy running, I am switching things up a bit this summer, as I am training as a biking missionary with an organization called Biking for Babies. The mission of Biking for Babies (B4B) is threefold – form pro-life missionaries, raise awareness for Pregnancy Resource Centers, and raise funds for Pregnancy Resource Centers.
Our efforts will all come together this summer during the week of July 9-15 when we will do the national ride. Eight teams will bike from various places around the country and meet in St. Louis (6 teams) or Washington, DC (2 teams). My team will be meeting in Columbus, Ohio, and finishing in St. Louis. To save you looking up how far that is, it is around 600 miles! We won’t be taking the most direct route, but each day we will arrive at a planned stop with a community that will be hosting us for a meal and putting us up for the night. At each event, I will celebrate Mass, and some of the missionaries will share their story or a pro-life testimony during dinner.
I would like to request your support in several ways. First, please pray for me and the other missionaries (around 80 of us) as we make our final push in training, that we stay safe and healthy as we offer our rides up to promote the culture of life. Fortunately, my team (and two others) will be making a stop right here at the Cathedral! Please join us for the 5:15 Mass on Friday, July 14, with dinner and testimonies to follow. Two years ago, a team came to the Cathedral, which was a major factor in my decision to be a part of the organization this year! Third, if you are able and feel called, I am also looking for financial support for the ride. My goal is to raise $5,000 for pregnancy resource centers – our combined goal this year is over $200k. Many pregnancy resource centers run on shoestring budgets, and we don’t want money to be an obstacle to anyone choosing life for her child! The easiest way to find my page is to google, “Biking for Babies, Fr. Dominic Vahling.” Or, you can drop something in the collection with a note that it is for my bike ride. I am most grateful for your support, but I know that our parish just did the Baby Bottle Boomerang to support First Step here in Springfield. (They are my partner center!) I don’t want this to be any sort of competition between pro-life things, so please prioritize supporting First Step directly, if you have to choose.
I plan to write more about First Step Women’s Center in the coming weeks – as a way to raise awareness for the amazing resources they offer. Thank you for your prayers and for your faith in Jesus Christ, who made each one of us in his image and likeness!