Culture of Life Programs
"Give us the grace - When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life."Bl. John Paul II
The Knights of Columbus is firmly committed to defending the right to life for every human being, from conception fo natural death. We are committed to building a culture of life in our community. What we choose to do, or not to do, about abortion, euthanasia, human cloning and embryonic research impacts lives for generations to come. Take action and support a culture that values human life at all stages.
Bike for Babies
Trustee Scott Williams, Deputy Grand Knight Robert Newport, Tres. Brian Heath, and Worden Adam Stanich from Mater Dei 437 "Biked for Babies" across the state of Indiana covering 160 miles Sept. 5-7, 2014. We are gearing up for our 2015 ride! Click here to donate or register to ride!
A full account of Biking for Babies 2014 from Brother Newport:
Originally conceiving an epic, solo cross-country bicycle expedition fundraiser covering nearly 3,000 miles over 11 weeks as a powerful statement for the preservation of life, I quickly realized after a single bike ride to Columbus, Indiana from Indianapolis that I needed to re-examine my objectives. I physically exhausted myself, blew a tire, and snapped my bike pump in two about a mile from my destination in downtown Columbus after riding about 53 miles. I thought, hm. Only 2,947 miles to go.
I had discussed the cross-country trek idea with parents and fellow Knights, and true to form my father wasn't subtle about his feelings. "I think it's a horrible idea," he said. "I think you could do it, but you haven't attempted anything like this before. It's a noble cause, but to do this alone with no training is not wise, Robert." I really couldn't find anyone that disagreed with him, and after a few discussions with Mater Dei K of C council 437 and cycling enthusiast Scott Williams, we thought a statewide ride, while still challenging, would allow us the opportunity to get more people involved to accomplish our goals of garnering support for the Gabriel Project, a fantastic organization assisting mothers of unplanned or unexpected pregnancies. We were delighted when treasurer Brian Heath and worthy warden Adam Stanich committed to joining the ride.
As stated on the K of C supreme website: "The Knights of Columbus remains firmly committed to defending the right to life of every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death." There was a simple refrigerator magnet in St. Paul's rectory in Greencastle, the site of our first stop, that echoed the sad reality that as things stand in this country, Americans do not have the right to live after the moment of conception. It was a yellow ribbon with a rendering of a red rose reading: "Americans, born to be free, but only if they were free to be born." Alas, the need for our ride!
Aside from a single meeting in which we discussed what to pack, our preparation was spotty at best. We met early in the morning at the K of C and Adam's dad Steve drove us to Terre Haute before taking us on to the state line to begin our trek. In Terre Haute we met with my parents at the Clabber Girl bake shop to have breakfast and were joined by Fr. Rick Ginther from St. Margaret Mary's and St. Patrick's parishes. It was rather fortuitous that he was able to join us, as I called him about 10 minutes outside of town. Thanks Father! He gave us his blessing, urging us to be wise and to stop when we needed to.
From there we were taken to the state line where we began. "We're really doing it!" we shouted. Then, about 4 1/2 miles in, I blew a tire. We were ready for this, and we busted out tubes and tools, going to work. Scott helped me replace the tire and we were on our way...for about 50 yards. The same tire blew again. Luckily, there was a bike shop about a mile away and they got us taken care of. We gave them a flier highlighting our fundraiser. Day 1 was a hot one. We drank a ton of water and stopped when we needed to...sometimes to sit in the shade while our cramps passed. Most drivers on US 40 considerately moved into the other lane, but one logging semi passing at full speed a couple feet from us nearly threw us from our bicycles. Oo that'll get the blood pumping, as if it wasn't already! About a mile from our 1st stop in Greencastle, it was Scott's turn to blow a tire. Starting and ending our day with blow outs, the day had a nice symmetry to it. Stopping at a gas station, covered in sweat and near our finish line for the day, we handed a grizzled man in a biker jacket who called himself "Styx" a flier. He said he'd try to get his biker gang to make a donation.
With Scott's tire all fixed up, we rode through beautiful Depauw University to St. Paul the Apostle's church in downtown Greencastle. Thanks for the hospitality, Fr. Hollowell! We got settled in and had dinner at a famous local hang out just down the road called "Marvin's." They deliver, or so it says on hundreds of pictures plastered on the walls with travelers and Marvin's patrons holding signs all over the world reading: Marvin's delivers to Panama City, the Great Wall, London, the Taj Mahal, and so on. I recommend the garlic cheeseburger. We jogged back to the rectory because of a thunderstorm that lit up the sky every few moments. We slept like rocks.
I think I speak for the group when I say day 2 was a breeze. There were some light showers in the morning but we welcomed the cool temperature. We encountered heavy traffic on 40 near Plainfield, but made it through smoothly. We pit stopped at the city market in downtown Indy, where we pumped up our tires at BGI bike shop and inhaled some tamales. Then it was on to Greenfield, our day 2 destination.
We enjoyed cool weather and flat roads as we rolled up to our hotel. We stayed at the Comfort Inn courtesy of the Greenfield Knights of Columbus. Thanks brothers! We treated ourselves to a tasty steak dinner at Montana Mike's while we watched Notre Dame shut out Michigan. ND alum Brian Heath was thoroughly enjoying himself. Once again, in the plush hotel beds, we slept like rocks.
Sunday began with a continental breakfast at the hotel. We stocked up on water and ice and got off to an early start. Day 3 started out smooth and we were hoping (and praying frequently at every stop) that our holy mother would keep us safe and that we'd avoid any more blown tires, but Adam was the next to suffer a blowout. I'm not sure if it was the luck of the Irish, but Brian was the only one to avoid a blown tire the entire trip. We got Adam all fixed up and rode on. If you've ever ridden your bike to Richmond from Indy you know that there's a serious hill that goes on for about a mile 10 miles or so from Richmond. I don't know about the other guys, but as I was churning my legs I was offering the pain in my quads up for redemptive suffering! As we finally made it to the top it became clear that Adam's tire was slowly leaking. We pumped it up and pedaled on, only 10 miles from the state line at this point. We made it a few more miles into Richmond...then Scott blew a tire and Adam's tire would no longer hold air. We got Scott fixed up but we were out of tubes for Adam. We were sick of hand-pumping and were out of CO2 cartridges (not foreseeing 7 blowouts). We gave Adam one of my tubes (which was not even close to being the right size) and hoped for the best...pumping it up with a pump we found at an autoparts store we saw nearby.
My tube made it about 10 feet on Adam's bike before popping. Eager to make it to the state line, we had a pow wow and decided that Adam would take my bike, finish with Brian and Scott, and I would walk Adam's bike to the border. The guys took off and finished, rendezvoused with with Brian's dad at the border, then came back and gave me a good bike so I could finish in full cycling glory. I was only a mile from the Ohio line at this point. Brian rode with me the last mile and we paused for some photo ops at the "Welcome to Ohio" sign before feasting at McDonald's.
Back in Indy, our publicity tour included a stop at St. John's church where Fr. Rick Nagel was gracious enough to announce the fundraiser at the end of mass. From there we went to the annual Bishop's Bash at Simon Brute seminary, in full biking gear mind you with helmets and spandex shorts to hand out fliers. We caught a few bashers as they were leaving (we arrived a little late). We all drove home and once again, you guessed it, slept like rocks.
We surpassed our fundraising goal thanks to all those who generously donated. There was even a knight who we jokingly dubbed "frisbee boy" for missing K of C meetings in favor of ultimate frisbee who donated a very generous amount to put us up and over our set goal amount. I suppose now we will have no choice but to call him "frisbee man."
I liked fellow rider Brian Heath's response when people asked if the trip was hard upon our return. "Well, it wasn't easy..." And nothing that's worth a dime is. There are certainly many who have made the trip faster, but we felt pretty good about logging 168 miles and raising a few bucks for the most worthy of causes, the preservation of life itself. Keep mothers and unborn babies in your prayers, and please consider supporting the Gabriel Project! www.glgabrielproject.org