Buffalo’s bike brigades are kicking back into high gear.
It’s been a couple of years since the Holy Roll was held, but now that the weather is getting warmer, the pandemic is clearing up, and bike season is rolling around, the annual Holy Roll is about to get underway once more.
The event involves cyclists visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday – April 14, starting at 8:30 pm.
“Visiting seven churches is a long-standing Catholic tradition in Buffalo especially in the Polish community,” said Fr. Jud Weiksnar. “Most people go by car or bus, but this group does it by bicycle. While some are along just for the ride, most enter the churches to join the dozens of people praying, to quietly converse, or simply to take in the extraordinary architecture. This tradition is religious in nature. While the rides between the churches will be similar to a community bike ride, inside the churches reverent behavior is expected, as people will be praying. The two previous Holy Rolls were wonderful experiences. People of all religions (or no religion) were able to enjoy it as a way to visit some architecturally magnificent churches, get some good exercise, and have the opportunity for reflection or prayer.”
Here’s the drill:
Holy Roll starts and ends at Ss. Columba-Brigid, 75 Hickory Street, at 8:30 pm. As a pre-ride option, all are welcome to attend the Holy Thursday service which starts at 7 pm and includes the celebration of Mass with the washing of 12 people’s feet to recall Jesus washing his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper.
After Ss. Columba-Brigid the group, led by experienced cyclists, will visit six other churches starting with those that close at 10 pm: St. Stan’s, Corpus Christi, St. John Kanty, and St. Adalbert. They will then visit St. Luke’s (open until 11) and Our Lady of Perpetual Help (open until midnight) before returning to Ss. Columba-Brigid, which is open until 11. Riders will spend approximately five minutes at each church, in order to finish the ride by 11.
- This ride is not affiliated with Slow Roll Buffalo, though many Slow Rollers plan to attend
- In 2017 and 2019, the Holy Roll attracted about 50-60 riders
- Volunteers will watch the bikes when riders are inside the churches
- Many of the streets do not have bike lanes
- Riders are encouraged to have lights on their bicycle
- There is no bike repair crew on the ride, so if a rider gets a flat tire or their bike has a mechanical problem, they should be prepared to do their own repairs or to call someone to pick them up
- The route is 10 miles
- Riders are advised that the ride goes over several bridges and portions of the route will be dark
- Riders should take that into consideration especially if they are bringing younger riders
- There is no charge for the ride, though some of the churches have collection baskets or poor boxes available if one wishes to support them
In case of inclement weather, check the Ss. Columba-Brigid Facebook page to see if the ride will take place.
Participants can contact Fr. Jud Weiksnar at 716-852-3331 with any questions.