Fishkill pastor to cycle from Connecticut to Maryland

A pastor at a Fishkill school and church is planning to cycle from Connecticut to Maryland.

Father Joe Blenkle says that while the Church of St. Mary in Fishkill is thriving, he has seen many Catholic schools throughout the Hudson Valley close or deal with problems, including higher tuition and lower enrollment.

The pastor has been training for weeks for his mission called "Our Father's Ride." Its purpose is to raise awareness for Catholic schools and the priests who support and love them, Blenkle says. 

The ride to raise money for his school will take him from Connecticut to a shrine in Maryland about 350 miles away. Blenkle plans to bike 50 miles a day over a seven-day period.

Blenkle's journey will conclude at the national shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the first Catholic school in the country and helped establish the parochial school system.

Blenkle says he has already raised $30,000. The money will go toward expanding the school, which currently has about 300 students.

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