NOVI (WWJ) – You don’t usually associate religion with the Woodward Dream Cruise, but those two worlds come together Thursday at St. James Catholic Church in Novi.

“We’re going to be blessing cars,” said Father Gregory Piatt, St. James’ Associate Pastor — who was an auto journalist in Lansing in the 90’s.

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“The Woodward Dream Cruise is probably the largest classic car show in the world and we wanted to connect it to something,” Piatt told WWJ’s Beth Fisher. “We wanted to connect it with faith and bless these cars.”

Piatt said the purpose of a blessing an object is to dedicate it to God’s service, not to “magically make them holy.” Never underestimate the power of holy water applied to your vehicle to keep you safe from harm’s way, when used in faith and trust in God, said Piatt.

And while it’s not required, the church is asking for a little something in return for the blessing.

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“We’re asking the motorists who want their cars to be blessed to bring a canned good or a non-perishable food item for the parish food pantry, which we help the folks that are hungry and poor, and in return we will be giving them a special gift, lets put it this way,” he said. “I’m not revealing what that gift is yet but there is a little, small token that goes along with it.”

It’s not all about the blessings though — you’re still invited to attend even if you don’t own a classic cruiser.

“We’re hoping to get a good response and have not only these car blessings but have our own little car show here too,” said Piatt. “People can come out and see that and interact with what we do as Catholics and also look at the cars.”

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The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Thursday in the church’s main parking lot, located at 46325 West 10 Mile Road in Novi.