Skip to comments.NJ Catholic Priest will Bike to Raise Money for the NY Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Community Center
Posted on 09/05/2004 9:27:17 PM PDT by Coleus
A Bergen County, NJ, priest will be delivering a sermon on compassion three days in a row next week, but he won't be speaking from a pulpit.
Believing actions often speak louder than words, the Rev. Peter Wehrle will be cycling from Perryville, Md., to New York City from Friday, Sept. 10, through Sunday, Sept. 12, to raise funds for people suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Also taking part in the 265-mile fundraiser, Braking the Cycle will be a Montclair cyclist who manages a brewery in New York and a former Cliftonite who serves as a corporate tax accountant.
Proceeds of the event will go to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of New York, the largest LGBT community center on the East Coast.
While he has ridden with priests and Baptist ministers in past fund raisers, Father Wehrle, parochial vicar at St. Joseph's R.C. Church in Oradell, NJ, will be the only clergyman taking part in the 2004 LGBT benefit.
"The ride will be my ninth for patients with HIV/AIDS" he says. "Why did I select this particular fund raiser? Because I want to help people live and die with dignity. That's not always the case. I have a friend who is currently living with the illness. I also lost another friend to AIDS, so their plight is close to my heart."
The cycling priest isn't intimidated by the distance of this year's ride.
"This will probably be my shortest ride," he exclaims. "Past AIDS benefits had me cycling 350 miles from Boston to New York and 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles."
The 41-year-old native of Connecticut, formerly of Holy Family R.C. Church in Nutley and Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church in Ridgewood, says the longest distance he ever cycled was 1,500 miles when he made a non-charity cycling trip from Seattle to Los Angeles.
"Having cycled in Rome when I was in seminary, the upcoming ride will be a piece of cake," Wehrle chuckles.
The compassionate clergyman says his parishioners have been extremely supportive and generous. Thanks to their kindness, he has managed to raise $5,000 for AIDS/HIV patients. The minimum pledge is $3,500.
Though he has participated in several AIDS/HIV rides in the past, Montclair resident Eric Ottaway says this year's event may be a little more challenging. But it has nothing to do with distance.
"It will be a big test because I had back surgery in June," he explains. "I almost thought I would have to bow out while recuperating, but I'm determined to give it a try. The pain that I may suffer is a minor issue considering what AIDS people go through.
"The greatest challenge will be getting to Day Two," he explains. "On Day One, you're excited about getting started. You're full of energy. On Day Two, you get up and your muscles say, 'you're going to do what?' On Day Three, you're motivated about coming home."
Why did the manager of the Brooklyn Brewery get involved in the benefit?
"It's a cause that has fallen off the radar screen as an issue, but not for the people affected," he says. "While there has been some progress toward a cure and better treatment, there has also been a big cutback by government, and unfortunately the need for funding and prevention is stronger than ever."
Ottaway says he will not be riding for anyone in particular, but for all AIDS/HIV patients. But he will remember a friend of his parents passed away from AIDS long before anyone knew about the illness.
His goal is to raise $10,000 for AIDS/HIV patients.
The ride will be the second for Tom Powell, a former Clifton resident who currently lives in Mahwah.
Having ridden 320 miles from New York to Boston three years ago, Powell isn't worried about cycling from Maryland to New York next week.
But he believes that he will have a few aches and pains because he has not been practicing every single day.
Among those cheering him on will be enthusiastic co-workers and company officials who have made pledges on his behalf.
Has he ever encountered any unkindness on the road?
"Absolutely never," he says. "Spectators are always warm, exuberant and receptive. I have yet to meet anyone contrary."
The corporate tax accountant says he is making the ride because he has always been an advocate of charity.
"It's not only a personal challenge," he says. "It's a good cause."
300 Elm Street, Oradell, NJ 07649
Phone: (201) 261-0148, Fax: (201) 261-0369
Masses: Saturday 6:00 p.m.; Sun, 7:30, 9:00, 10:30, 12:00 p.m.
Contact Archbishop Myers
Archbishop John Myers
Most Rev. John J. Myers, J.C.D., D.D.
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark
P. O. Box 9500
Newark, NJ 07104-9500
Catechism on Homosexuality
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
What's $10,000 going to do for these patients? It costs tens of thousands per person.
And they don't die with dignity? How is that, don't we have hospitals and Hospices in this country?
And I thought the USA spent Billions in research, drug therapy, hospital care and Medicaid for those afflicted with ARC.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of New York -- does not sound like the kind of place you want to go for a drink or shoot some pool. That's one locker room to avoid, in my narrow-minded view.
Not to happy with this priest myself.
Now, where did I put the keys to that SUV?
The only good thing about stories like this is that now more people know this blaspheming Satanist's name.
I might take him more seriously if he put the seat back on the post.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of New York, AKA the New York Times building.
He's not to far from the Englewood NJ abortion mill where 1,500 partial birt abortions are performed each year!!
I bet he doesn't even know where it is.
Wonder if he supported Gov. McGreevey?
I think you've located it.
Of course he is a "McGreevey Catholic." I wonder if he attended that seminary in Baltimore where they had the "Mardi Gras" parties.
Well, I guess pedophelia just wasn't enough...
It's just STUPID! He should become a granola crunching unitarian minister then!
MORE for the list - will the Tsunami of Sludge never recede?
I see nothing wrong with being compassionate towards people with AIDS but real compassion also means telling the truth. And giving money to organizations that promote homosexual behavior is certainly in complete opposition to any traditional moral or religious values.
"This priest is doing Satan's work against the Church, trying to turn it into Sodom and Gomorrah. He should be defrocked and then excommunicated."
Typical bleeding heart liberal idea. If he truly wanted to help people with AIDS, he'd donate the money to one of the Catholic hospitals in the area that have always treated AIDS patients with respect and dignity. The late John Cardinal O'Connor would go to the AIDS wards and help bathe and comfort the patients. Even the AIDS activists wouldn't get NEAR those folks!