Iowa’s four Catholic dioceses have teamed up to offer spiritual food for the journey as RAGBRAI bicyclists and their support crews make their way across Iowa July 22-29 for the 50th anniversary of this cycling celebration.
Bishop Walker Nickless, who leads the Diocese of Sioux City, will offer a blessing of the bikes July 22 at 3:45 p.m. in Sioux City, followed by Mass at 4 p.m. at St. Boniface Church, 703 W. 5th St. in Sioux City. The blessing and liturgy mark the spiritual kickoff of the “4DiocesesCycling4Christ” initiative of the dioceses of Sioux City, Davenport and Des Moines and the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
The four dioceses will offer Mass at several of the overnight stops during the 500-mile RAGBRAI journey, in the spirit of the national Eucharistic Revival underway in the U.S. Catholic Church. Check out the website lumenmedia.org/ragbrai-2023 for specific details. All are welcome to attend the liturgies – from cyclists to their supporters to spectators and businesses – to experience the hospitality of the Catholic dioceses and the people who are part of the dioceses. Some of the diocese will also offer confession and adoration and some of the parishes plan to serve meals (generally for a modest charge).
“I am happy that we can share information with RAGBRAI riders about Catholic-sponsored events across the state of Iowa. We thank all the parishes and schools who are participating to make the event fulfilling and comfortable for our guests,” said Dawn Prosser, director of Communications for the Diocese of Sioux City.
“We hope our ‘4 Dioceses cycling 4 Christ’ initiative generates enthusiasm among the riders, the communities they ride into and our parishes,” said Barb Arland-Fye, editor of The Catholic Messenger of the Diocese of Davenport. “The initiative is one response to Pope Francis’ call for our Church to go out, to listen to and accompany people who are not sitting in our pews.”
“As riders and support teams focus on developing their physical health during RAGBRAI, they also have the opportunity to nourish their spiritual well-being through the reception of the Eucharist. This allows them to find rest and seek spiritual fulfillment alongside their physical endeavors,” said John Huynh, who helped coordinate this project for the Des Moines Diocese.
“We invite cyclists to fuel their faith by taking part in eucharistic celebrations during RAGBRAI. Come find rest and see the beautiful churches along the route,” advises Anne Marie Cox, director of Communications for the Des Moines Diocese and editor of its Catholic Mirror.
Here are locations and times for Masses:
July 22: Blessing of bikes (3:45 p.m.), Mass (4 p.m.), St. Boniface Church, 703 W. 5th St., Sioux City, Bishop Walker Nickless presiding.
July 24: Confessions at 2 p.m., Mass at 3 p.m., St. John Paul II Parish, St. Lawrence Church 1607 N. West Street, Carroll, Father Patrick Behm presiding.
July 25: Mass, 5 p.m., St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 2210 Lincoln Way, Ames, Father Kyle Digmann presiding.
July 26: Mass at 8 a.m., Ascension Parish, St. Malachy Church, 207 Gerald St., Madrid. Adoration follows until noon, Father Tim Johnson presiding.
July 26: Mass at 5 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral, 607 High St., Des Moines, Bishop William Joensen, presiding. Tours available at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Confession available.
July 27: Mass at 4:30 p.m., St. Patrick Parish, 900 Park St., Tama, Father Michael McAndrew presiding. Dinner will follow.
July 28: Mass at 6:15 p.m., St. Thomas More Church, 3000 12th Ave., Coralville, Bishop Thomas Zinkula presiding.
Be sure to check back often as events are added and for any changes in the schedule. If you post pictures on social media and websites, include #4DiocesesCycling4Christ.