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Seminarian to bike 1,150 miles for charity

Tori Roeck | Wednesday, May 2, 2012

To spread the Catholic pro-life message, senior Stephen Barany, an undergraduate seminarian in Old College, will bike 1,150 miles from New Orleans to Chicago from May 21 to 29 with the charity Biking for Babies.

According to a press release from the organization, Biking for Babies seeks to raise money for women in crisis pregnancies.

In addition to biking 90 to 190 miles per day, the group of 10 riders will stop at parishes along the way to speak about the dignity of all life and campaign against abortion, according to the press release.

“Biking for Babies is important because it is an opportunity to spread the good news of life,” Barany said. “It’s hard to believe, but people don’t often hear about the goodness of life.”

Now in its fourth year, the Biking for Babies event hopes to gross $40,000, the press release stated.

A major beneficiary of the fundraiser is the Women’s Care Center Foundation in South Bend, which, according to the press release, “offers pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, plus childbirth and newborn care classes and more.”

However, Barany said the event is more than just a fundraiser.

“Biking for Babies helps to build a culture open to life and practically provide for families who want to choose life,” Barany said. “Practically, the money we raise helps provide the means for women’s resource centers to continue their great work.”

Biking for Babies was founded by Jimmy Becker and Mike Schaefer, University of Illinois alumni. Barany said Schaefer is one of his closest friends.

Barany said he got involved with Biking for Babies last year by driving the support vehicle that accompanied the riders.

“Last year, as the support driver, I saw the impact the ride had on the lives of individuals we met along the way,” he said. “People at parishes, gas stations and even grocery stores were excited for the work we were doing. They wanted to know more about us and do more for the pro-life cause.”

Barany said his Catholic faith shapes his pro-life outlook.

“I’d like to think that the life I lead is informed and shaped by the Easter message that Christ is risen,” he said. “I try never to forget John 10:10: ‘Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.’”

Biking for Babies effectively publicizes the needs of women affected by crisis pregnancies through a pro-life lens, Barany said.

“With public discussion so centered on policy, rights and economy, people forget the real issue at hand,” he said. “It’s not a matter of numbers and statistics. It’s about real people with real problems who need and deserve more than what society offers them. It’s about communicating the dignity of every life and honoring women by giving them a real chance to choose life.”

Participating in Biking for Babies will truly make a difference in the lives of women affected by crisis pregnancies, Barany said.

“I believe that Biking for Babies has the power to change and save lives,” he said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be involved.”

For more information about Biking for Babies, visit bikingforbabies.com.