There are more than 186 miles between the Schoenstatt Center in Trier and the Schoenstatt-Au in Borken. On May 1, 2018, this distance was bridged by a commonality: engine noise, gasoline smell and a lot of holy water. What is already a tradition in Trier was tried for the first time in Borken: a motorcycle blessing. Some highlights of these special events:
Motorcycle blessing at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Trier
Did you know that Paul would have gone on a motorcycle trip on a motorbike, if there had been motorcycles back then? He had to settle for a horsepower. Such and similar humorous thoughts have always been included in the remarks of Rev. Stefan Schaaf at the motorcycle blessing on May 1 at the Schoenstatt Center, Trier. Under the age-old trees, the engine clatter and the gas odor of more than 60 motorcycles really came into their own.
Aim for the corner, apply the brakes, step on the gas, feel the power
… and then the essentials: to travel with Jesus like Paul. The motorcycle blessing expresses this: “A biker can be accompanied optimally by God and knows about this protection. He remains responsible and considerate. He takes the path that leads to peace. ”
At the end of the liturgy, every biker knows, “As the fire moves in the cylinder’s combustion chamber, so is the Holy Spirit. He also gets us moving and lets us be on the way. – It’s a special way to ride a motorcycle. ”
“Fast – normal – comfortable” – the right tour for everyone
After the motorcycle blessing there is delicious food and then the tour begins. Every biker can choose his tour: brisk – normal – comfortable. There is something for everyone.
Oral and written feedback confirms that the good planning was worthwhile: “Hello, in this way we say thank you for the successful event. It was fun.” This is how Stephan S. writes the next day.
At the first motorcycle blessing in Borken
In the truest sense of the word, all signs were for stormy weather: “Today, every word fell deep into my soul,” says a biker. He expresses his inner experience on this May1, 2018, at the Schoenstatt-Au where the first motorcycle blessing took place. “I’ve always wanted to go to Kevelaer for a motorcycle pilgrimage”, smiles Mr. S., a neighbor of the Schoenstatt Au, a coffee cup in his hand, “now I have the motorcycle blessing right on my doorstep.”
Actually, on this first day of May in the truest sense all signs were for “storm”, but the supposed forecasts of weather apps were only partially true. Whenever it had to be dry, it was. No wonder, the sky had visibly taken over for this event.
When Heaven takes over
In the middle of February 2018 everything started very small. A sister brought the idea of a motorcycle blessing from the Schoenstatt Center Trier to Borken and so the planning began.
The Blessed Mother made the event her own and made a strong contribution from the Schoenstatt Shrine. There were sponsors for special-imprinted safety vests: “Schoenstatt-Au Biker Tour”, others organized the 90-kilometer exit, spoke on the local radio station and promoted the event – each in its own way. The press supported us in advance and sent a reporter on May 1.
What do bikers and bishops have in common?
Then came May 1, 2018, and the weather seemed to be a problem. But bikers are weatherproof. So the forecourt of the Schoenstatt Au from 10:00 clock on was filled with a variety of machines. A biker was touched and said: “The sisters looked out for our machines in this weather!” And not just the sisters. The emeritus archbishop of Hamburg, Dr. med. Werner Thissen, who had already opened the month of May in the Schoenstatt Au the evening before, did not miss the opportunity to admire the motorcycles when he arrived, and he even sat on one. His natural humanness won the hearts of bikers. When asked what biker and bishop might have in common, he began his address during the blessing service: Responsibility, helpfulness and vision were three guiding words, which he briefly explained.
Next year you will have the house full
At the subsequent snack people came into conversations. When the bikers return after a long tour of Borken and exchanged views in the cafeteria, it became clear that participation in this first motorcycle blessing was not taken for granted because of the bad weather. “We were partly alone on the road,” said one. “Next year, they will fill the house,” remarked another man as he said goodbye, and this prediction was repeated many times.