Bikers receive prayers during annual bike blessing
Published 3:06 pm Saturday, March 31, 2018
Hundreds of motorcycle riders gathered together and bowed their heads in prayer during the 23rd Annual BJ Stelly Bike Blessing on Saturday.
Riders and their iron horses were parked on a section of Procter Street and at the entrance to the Port Arthur International Seafarers Center on Houston Avenue, which hosted the event, as the Rev. Sinclair Oubre raised his hands and offered blessings along with a few light hearted jokes.
Solo riders Harold Pellum of Port Arthur and Ricky Braquet of Port Neches along with Rabbi, president of Friend of God Motorcycle Ministry greeted John Paul Vidalier before the event kicked off.
For Pellum, this marked his seventh time to attend the Bike Blessing.
“This is something we try to do annually,” Pellum said, adding he hopes this will keep him safe throughout the year.
Elsewhere David and Sheri Peco of Port Arthur waited for Oubre to walk by and sprinkle them and their ride with holy water.
“We’ve been coming out for this for years to support the seafarers center,” David Peco said.
While the blessing is offered for free, riders had a chance to take part in the Pirate Treasure Run where proceeds go to help the seafarers center.
“I’ve been coming to this every year since it started,” Bob Collins, 73, of Port Neches, said. “Fr. Sinclair is a wonderful person.”
Collins caught the eye of others with his cowboy hat and vest with many patches.
“I got a late start riding,” he said. “I started in 1989. Since then I have been to all 50 states and all providences in Canada. I’ve put 120,000 miles on three different motorcycles.”
Collins is a member of the local Hog Chapter group as well as the Iron Butt Association and Motorcycle Tours Association where he is a solo rider who enjoys long rides cross country, he said.