On Saturday, May 7, 2011 Bishop Demetrios of the Metropolis of Chicago presided at the 4th Annual Motorcycle Blessing hosted by Saints Peter & Paul Church in Glenview, IL.
Background of the Event
by Fr Angelo Artemas
In early December of 2007, Anne Pignato died at the age of 79 after a long fight with cancer. She was a long-time member of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Glenview, Illinois and grateful for her Orthodox faith and Greek heritage.
At her viewing and wake the night before her funeral, I noticed numerous pictures of her riding on the back of her daughter’s and son’s motorcycles. She loved the sense of freedom and the wind in her face. She was a wonderful, pure and free spirit right up to her passing into eternal life.
After I commented to her daughter - Barb Pignato - that I too enjoyed riding motorcycles, she suggested that we do an initial Spring-time blessing, with the hope that it would become an annual event. In May of 2008, through Barb’s hard work, over fifty motorcyclists participated in the inaugural blessing. In May of 2009, seventy motorcyclists participated in the blessing along with the newly formed Greek American Motorcycle Association (GAMA). In May of 2010, His Grace Bishop Demetrios of the Metropolis of Chicago brought unprecedented focus and attention to the event as he presided at a blessing of over one hundred motorcyclists and over thirty passengers. His Grace’s comfort and ease made each and every motorcyclist feel like they were part of one happy Christian family (indeed some had not been to an Orthodox church for decades).
Although under threatening skies, the May 7, 2011 Motorcycle blessing was once again a welcomed success, with Anne’s memory, Bishop Demetrios’ graciousness and enthusiasm, and God’s love shining upon all of His children.