As a young man, Mark Catalana set a goal for himself of 100,000 miles traveled by bike. He was 1,400 miles short of this goal when he was struck down by the driver of a gray Nissan on San Tomas Expressway over Winchester Boulevard on April 15, 2013. The driver drifted into the shoulder and sideswiped Catalana at near highway speed. Catalana went down hard and shattered his hip.
Catalana was well on his way to recovery when he suddenly fell ill, was transported to the hospital, and perished when a blood clot from his healing wounds caused a fatal heart attack. The sudden death of this 49 year old pastor stunned the congregation at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church in San Jose.
The Bay Area native used his bicycle as his main mode of transportation. He religiously tracked his miles as he meditated on his bike. One of the cyclists in Catalana’s congregation, Bill Wright, encouraged the other members of the church to complete the 100,000 miles. 115 people logged 8600 miles — six times more than needed — in memory of Father Catalana.
Read more about Father Mark Catalana in the Mercury News: — Cycling priest’s death sets San Jose congregation on a quest.
On a related now, Elly Blue is now accepting submissions for her latest project: Bicycling and religion.