La Crosse man with cerebral palsy spearheads annual 200-mile ‘Bike to Mary’

LA CROSSE – Between June 21 and June 27, Chris Pundzak led a small group from one end of Wisconsin to the other on a trip that sought to raise awareness for Mary’s role in the life of faith.

And by now this nearly 200-mile trip has become as easy as, well – riding a bicycle.

That’s because for the last three years, Pundzak, a member of Mary Mother of the Church Parish, La Crosse, has led a bicycle pilgrimage from the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill, Hubertus, Wis., to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse. What’s more, he accomplished this trio of trips while contending with the challenges of severe cerebral palsy. Due to complications during his birth 28 years ago, Pundzak was diagnosed at age 5 with the disorder.

Calling it “Bike to Mary,” Pundzak and a handful of assistants have organized the pilgrimage between these two testaments of Catholic devotion to Our Lady as a way to focus attention on Mary not only as Mother of Christians but of all humanity. In choosing the route between Hubertus and La Crosse, he also hopes to raise awareness and funds for the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe – and her part as patroness of the pro-life movement.

The June pilgrimage invites young and old to take part in the six-day trek – averaging 40 miles a day – through rolling moraines and placid kettles that punctuate eastern and central Wisconsin landscape to the bluffs and coulees which form the state’s western extreme. The pilgrimage also includes daily Mass, daily Morning Prayer, Eucharistic adoration, when available, and plenty of time for private prayer and reflection on the route.
continue at The Catholic Times

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