Young retreatants on a roll

GREGORY A. SHEMITZ | TLIC
From left, Roger Young (Class of '12), sophomore Andrew Schlosberg, Sean Cappiello ('11), Andrew Cappiello ('10) and Peter Sarich ('12) cross the finish line at Infant Jesus Church

Father Jerry Cestare has been organizing rolling retreats for more than 20 years. The most recent “Bike for Life,” as it’s officially called, involved a group comprised mostly of recent alumni of McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, Riverhead, where Father Cestare serves as campus minister. Fourteen cyclists and a support team in two vans began their journey in Port Jefferson July 26 and traveled along the North Shore to Orient Point, where they rode a ferry to New London, Conn. The bikers eventually made their way back to Port Jefferson, rolling into a parking lot behind Infant Jesus Church on July 29, marking the end of a 108-mile trip. Along the route, participants slept at churches, where they gathered for Mass, reconciliation, Eucharistic adoration and candid conversations. Father Cestare began the Bike for Life when he was the youth minister at SS. Philip and James Church, St. James, before entering the seminary. “It was an idea to get kids who don’t normally go on retreats to have a retreat experience,” he said. “As much as they look forward to the bike part, they enjoy the retreat stuff and spirit of community even more.” Below, the cyclists recite the Lord’s Prayer during Mass at Infant Jesus Church, after the ride.