If you have ever been on a motorcycle you know what counts. It is the road not so much the destination. Beautiful views meeting people, the fascination of motorcycles is a way to evangelize, and this is what attracts me and other people to motorcycle trips.
The need for the gospel exists everywhere. There’s so many places and so many people waiting to hear the word of God, there are situations where someone starts out about motorcycles and minutes later, may start talking about God and before you know it they will ask you to hear their confession. And in many instances it has been ten or even twenty years since their last reconciliation.
I remember one time where I met a couple at a campground and we started a simple conversation. This conversation turned into a discussion about cohabitation. For them it was the only opportunity to talk to a priest because they had not gone to church for many years. This is why a priest is needed in different circumstances and different places.
Let me tell you something about our last pilgrimage.
It was in the afternoon when Sean called me and said “Fr. we need to have a Plan B in case the border isn’t open” and I do have to say I wasn’t surprised by the statement, given the information about the pandemic. However, I felt a little bit sorry to realize that quite a few of our friends on the other side of the border would not be able to join us this year.
Consequently, after a few face-to-face meetings and several ZOOM conferences, we came up with a plan. We set off on our motorcycles to preach the gospel and experience the wonderful fellowship that came with God squad members.
Our adventure started in Buck Lake where we were welcomed by “JP”, a long-time friend of God Squad. Early in the morning of the next day we set off towards Bruno Saskatchewan where once again a wonderful family and their friends welcomed us into their homes. However, time was chasing us and we had to carry on in our journey to The Pas, MB, to be welcomed by Archbishop Murray and Fr. James Fiori OMI.
The following day after a good breakfast we continued our journey to Thunder Bay and finally to Ottawa, where we said goodbye to Bishop Scott who returned back to his duties with the Military Ordinariate in Canada. Saying goodbye to Bishop Scott, there’s only five of us going back to Calgary. Spiritually, there were many more of us. The whole time we were accompanied by friends on both sides of the border, who for many different reasons did not join us this year. My hope and prayer is that for the coming years our group will be much larger, both physical riders and spiritual support.
Returning through the graphical centre of Canada, we met with a bunch of Catholic men to share the experience of evangelization in our parishes as well as to support one another in the building of the kingdom of God in our local communities.
Our motorcycle trips are not only meetings with people, but above all an encounter with God. Every day starts with the Holy Eucharist and then during our journey there is plenty of time to pray the rosary, do meditation, and even have a religious discussion over the internet.
As you can imagine our trip has to be planned, organized, with a lot of trust in God. Many times we have found ourselves in a situation where something was lacking, where we needed help. It was enough to say a prayer and God provided. What we needed to do was trust God.
Thank you to all who supported us this year.
Fr. Mariusz Sztuk, SDS