Now that the sun is shining and most of the snow is gone, people start their motorcycles. In Syracuse there is a gathering of drivers every year to bless their journeys. A dedicated priest has continued the event for decades. For 39 years, riders of all ages and sizes have come to have their bikes blessed at St. Daniel Church.
It's a blessing to keep them safe from us on the streets. According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 160 people die in motorcycle accidents nationwide each year.
What you need to know
The 39th annual Syracuse Motorcycle Blessing was presided over by Rev. Eugene Yennock
This was Yennocks last year when he retired from the Ministry at the age of 95
He won a fight against COVID-19 in December that took him to the hospital for weeks
"There have been four deaths in the last month and none of them were the biker's fault. His cars don't know that there are other people besides them," said Michael Whitney, Onondaga Chapter, ABATE President.
Every year Monsignor Reverend Yennock leads the blessing, but this is his last. After serving his current church for more than 40 years, he has decided to retire.
"Well, I'm 95, I should have retired when I was 75, but I didn't have enough sense," said Yennock. "And of course I feel a little health impaired with the COVID, so it's a good time for a younger man to come in."
He hit coronavirus in December; a case that took him to the hospital for several weeks. Now he will be Pastor Emeritus in St. Daniel Church and will continue his ministry for as long as he can.
Next year the blessing of bicycles will take place in the Church of Saint Rose of Lima in northern Syracuse.