Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Archbishop Blesses Bikes at Ride for Life and Liberty

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Archbishop Blesses Bikes at Ride for Life and Liberty

Article excerpt

They don't consider themselves a bunch of holy rollers, but 50 or so Catholic bikers from across northeast Kansas still revved up their faith a few notches as they rumbled into downtown Topeka from points near and far as part of the second annual Ride for Life and Liberty, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

Bikers took off from their respective parishes throughout the 21- county Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, timing their rides so they would arrive around 11 a.m. at Mater Dei- Assumption Catholic Church, 204 S.E. 8th.

Shortly after 11 a.m., a brief program took place on a former school playground directly north of the church in the 700 block of S.W. Jackson, where the motorcycles were parked in several rows.

The ceremony commemorated Flag Day and the contributions made by the Knights of Columbus -- a Catholic fraternal service organization -- to ensuring the words "one nation under God" were included in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Melissa Colbern, a family practice physician in Topeka and founder of Mary's Choices, a crisis pregnancy center founded in September 2012 and located at 306 S.W. Van Buren, offered a few words about her organization, which strives to steer expectant women away from abortion and encourage them to carry their unborn child to term.

The Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, then read from the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible, offering prayers and commending the bikers for taking part in the ride, which occurred a week before the start of third annual Fortnight for Freedom observance, which will be held from June 21 to July 4.

The Fortnight for Freedom, a nationwide Catholic initiative, focuses on threats to religious liberty and government intrusion in matters of conscience. …

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