Children’s ADA to support Totus Tuus, Emmaus Days, Priests Pedaling for Prayers

The sight of three bicycling young priests energized school communities around the Diocese of Peoria the last two springs. This year, young Catholics will have a chance to support the Priests Pedaling for Prayers in a new way even before the ride begins.

Father Tom Otto rides his bike into the gym at St. Patrick School in Washington during last April’s “Priests Pedaling for Prayers” diocese-wide ride for vocations awareness. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

The pedaling priests are one of three vocations programs that will benefit from the monetary and spiritual gifts of children to this year’s Annual Diocesan Appeal. The other two are Totus Tuus, a summer faith formation program, and the Emmaus Days vocations awareness retreats.

“Early on in my ministry in this diocese I was the one who began the Children’s ADA,” says Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, in a video that will be shown at schools and religious education programs around the diocese to educate on stewardship as the appeal opens.

“I have always believed that we should learn from the time we are young to the time we are old that we owe something of ourselves in the service of our neighbor.”

Debbie Benz, associate director of development, said the bishop designates monies raised from the children’s gifts for a specific cause rather than applying them to the parish or diocesan goals. She is “super excited” the Office of Priestly Vocations is this year’s beneficiary.

“Not only is it giving them the opportunity to support the programs and seminarians, but it also gives them another opportunity to pray for vocations, which are so badly needed,” said Benz. The children — whether or not they give a small financial gift — sometimes include a pledge of prayer, and Benz assures that Bishop Jenky sees them all.

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