Group believes prayer is helping Bay City grow
A group in Bay City spends its Saturday mornings walking local neighborhoods. Though they look like they’re just out for exercise, the difference is that while they walk they’re covering the city in prayer. The Reverend Jose Cabrera is pastor of All Saints Parish, which includes St. James on Columbus Avenue, where the group starts. Cabrera says the walkers started out a few years ago, and he believes they’re making a difference. He says just like many cities, Bay City has its problems with crime, drugs and gang activity, but prayer can’t hurt.
“Honestly we have seen a lot of growth in downtown Bay City in the last few years,” Cabrera says, adding, “It’s beautiful to see that coming and that’s generating jobs. Still we are way far away from where we should be, but downtown Bay City is a lot better than it used to be.”
Cabrera says a few years ago two parishioners decided they wanted to make a difference in their neighborhoods and started the prayer walks. Every Saturday a small group gets together in the chapel, reads the daily gospel and prays together before heading out to walk for about an hour. Each week they walk different neighborhoods in the city. Cabrera says they often get into a car, drive to the neighborhood and walk. He says there is a long way to go in many Bay City Neighborhoods, where he says poverty, drugs and violence are problems, but they are making a small difference. He says other organizations like the soup kitchens and social services help with certain aspects, but the prayer walkers add a spiritual touch. Cabrera says anyone can walk with them, and being Catholic isn’t a requirement. They walk no matter what the weather and anyone is welcome to join them. Walkers leave from St. James Parish chapel at 8:30 every Saturday morning.