I grew up in a good home. A Catholic from birth, I can never remember a time when I didn't believe in Jesus. I always knew God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and my belief has sustained me throughout my life - both the good times and the bad. But, like many Catholics who grew up in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, I quit going to church as a teenager and pursued worldly interests. It wasn't long before these "interests" got me into BIG TROUBLE.
To make a long story short, I was in trouble as a teenager. I was ruled a delinquent by the courts and found myself in and out of the detention home and other various juvenile facilities. I tried my best as a young adult to settle down. I went into the service at 18 years of age and life was alright. But, I left God and the Church out of it. It wasn't long before I wound up in trouble again. I committed a crime that would change my life - and so many others - forever.
In January of 1986, I wound up killing a man. The circumstances and details are irrelevant and it would take a book to explain them. I avoided prosecution for the next four years of my life and I was wilder than before. I figured I was as good as a dead man when the law caught up to me. I lived by the old saying, "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die!" After all, Jim Morrison (The Doors) said it best,"the future's uncertain and the end is always near."
At the time, I still had my faith in God but I believed I was headed for hell. I knew that I couldn't save myself. I knew that only the Mercy of God could save me from hell. I just wasn't sure how to receive His mercy. Then, I landed in jail. I thank God that I did! It was there that I was able to receive God's mercy and forgiveness. I was ministered to by very good people - both Protestant and Catholic - who helped me in my walk. I pleaded guilty to my crime and served 18 years in prison.
While in prison, I wondered how my life would be once I got out. Could I be a Christian and ride a motorcycle? I love to ride!! Would I have to give this up? I first talked to the Catholic Priest at the prison. He said I could still ride my bike. I prayed and God led me to the Christian Motorcyclists Association CMA. I corresponded with them and joined the group in 1993. I did God's work while in prison by working in the prison chapel. I played piano, keyboards, the violin, and was choir director. I tried to help all those God placed in my path. But, I still felt like I was called to do more. Was there a Catholic motorcycle group out there? I had returned to the Catholic Church and will never separate myself again. I couldn't find any. I found many that said they were Christian and non-denominational, but they just don't approach the Christian faith the same as I do. Their focus is on being born again.
Well, I know I was born again in the Confessional. My first confession in 15 years brought tears to my eyes. I cried like a baby. But I have never felt freer in my life since then. But I also realized that the non-denominationals and Protestants approach their Christian faith differently than we do. I wanted to be Catholic. I wanted to live out the Gospel call to its fullest. I wanted to serve God and man. So, the Lord put on my heart to start a Catholic motorcycle ministry. I was also encouraged by many friends to pursue this ministry. After actually riding with a CMA chapter, it was time to start the Catholic Cross Bearers Motorcycle Ministry.
So, this is the past I bring to this ministry. I still love all my other Christian motorcyclists and talk to them and support their endeavors. We all have the same boss! I pray that if you are Catholic and ride a motorcycle, you would consider and pray about joining us in this ministry. It is not for the faint of heart. It is for those who really want to serve God by serving their fellow man. GOD BLESS!