Ride for the Cause2011 Oblate Trail Ride Raises Funds to Combat Poverty
The seventh annual Oblate Trail Ride was held on Saturday, May 21, 2011.
As in previous years, the route followed the historic Oblate Trail along Old Military Highway, an area the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate traveled on horseback more than 100 years ago to evangelize the remote communities of the Valley along the Rio Grande River.
Pre-registration yielded 99 entrees for the ride and an additional 106 participants signed up on the day of the event, for a grand total of 205 riders. Of these, 187 rode from Brownsville and 18 from San Juan. All riders converged on the hill of La Lomita chapel south of Mission, Texas. This site was chosen as the destination for the 2011 Oblate Trail Ride due to ongoing construction further west along Highway 83, the path beyond the convergence with Old Military Highway that leads to Our Lady of Refuge Church in Roma, the previous year’s destination. The ongoing construction will factor into the planning process for next year’s Oblate Trail Ride set to take place on Saturday, March 31, 2012.
Months of planning helped to make this event a success. The Oblate Trail Ride was established by the diocesan Public Relations Office seven years ago and the torch was passed to the diocesan Development Office this year. It is anticipated that the Development Office will manage this event from now on. Rest stops were set up and staffed with volunteers along the Oblate Trail, approximately 10 to 15 miles apart, providing riders with water, fruit and other energy snacks. Support and Gear vehicles (SAG) courtesy of Bicycle World and individual supporters patrolled the route to help with mechanical troubles or ferry riders in distress to the finish line. Providentially, the 2011 Oblate Trail Ride was a very safe event for all who participated and volunteered.
Proceeds from the ride are destined to fund local projects supported by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. This national initiative of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference and its local counterpart, the diocesan CCHD Fund, work to eradicate material poverty by funding programs that address its root causes. Advocacy, educational and community organizing projects are typically funded as these may lead to systemic change impacting the affected communities. This year, a total of $4,000 was raised by the Oblate Trail Ride. This amount is added to the local fund, which is itself derived from one fourth of the national collection taken up at all Catholic parishes throughout the country every year.
The Oblate Trail Ride culminated with a blessing by Father Roy Lee Snipes, OMI, at the site of the historic chapel at La Lomita Park south of Mission, Texas. The Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Mission sponsored a festive gathering with music, hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments for the riders, their supporters and volunteers. We look forward to an even greater turnout next year!
Development OfficeCatholic Diocese of Brownsville700 N. Virgen de San JuanSan Juan, TX 78589Phone:(956) 784-5062Fax: (956) 784-5044Director: Rosie Rodriguezrrodriguez@cdob.org
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