Bishop Jenky joined Pedaling Priests’ ride during a stop at Peoria Notre Dame

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, rides around the gymnasium at Peoria Notre Dame High School in a four-wheeler fit for a bishop to join the Priests Pedaling for Prayers at a school assembly on April 18. At the wheel is Deacon Matt Levy of Silvis. Helping to provide the pedal power is Chris Gavin of Monmouth. On the bicycle is Father Adam Cesarek. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Everyone at Peoria Notre Dame High School was prepared to see Father Tom Otto, Father Adam Cesarek, Father Michael Pica and Deacon Matt Levy ride their bicycles into the Kelly Needham Gym on April 18 as part of Priests Pedaling for Prayers. But no one expected to see Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, enter with them.

The bishop traveled in a four-wheeler with pedal power provided by Deacon Levy and Chris Gavin, a bicycling enthusiast and trustee at Immaculate Conception in Monmouth, who joined them for the day.

“It’s a great idea,” Bishop Jenky told The Catholic Post before the assembly started. “A lot of people are into cycling and they see priests have lives and personalities besides what they see on the altar. I’m very proud of our young priests.”

Father Adam Cesarek shares his vocation story with the students of Peoria Notre Dame on April 18. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Father Pica said when he talked to the bishop at the dinner following the Chrism Mass on March 27 and asked if he would consider riding into Peoria Notre Dame with them, Bishop Jenky laughed.

“You have a bishop that loves to do those crazy little things for people,” Bishop Jenky told him.

“We made the most of it and it was a blast,” Father Pica said.

Talking to the students, Bishop Jenky said the word vocation comes from a Latin word, vocare, which means “to be called.”

“Being called means somebody is calling you. Of course, that somebody is God, who knows you inside and out, and who loves you and has a plan for your life,” Bishop Jenky said. “To find out what that plan is is the most important task you’ll have on this earth.”

He encouraged them to do what they love, whether that is being a carpenter, a politician or a doctor, but said they should also ask God if he is calling them to consecrated life or the priesthood.

“I do not think I know any priests who do not love what they do,” Bishop Jenky said. “If people knew what a blessing it was to serve God and neighbor as a priest, we would have to put additions on every seminary in the country.”

Talk to God and have a relationship with God, he advised them.

“If you listen, you will find your heart’s desire. You will find what will help you to make this world a better place and deepen your own growth in holiness,” Bishop Jenky said.

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