Author Topic: New York priest drops holy water on city from plane  (Read 255 times)

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New York priest drops holy water on city from plane
« on: March 23, 2020, 08:48:03 AM »

ROCHESTER, N.Y. With a sprinkling of holy water, and a prayer of protection, the Rev. Juan Benitez performed blessings on Rochester and its suburbs from 2,000 feet above.

Benitez took to the air last week, with parishioner and pilot Anthony Daniele, to bless his community as priests had done in his native Colombia when he was a boy.

"The intention was just to tell the people that they are not alone," he said. "Many people are afraid ... they have never seen this in their lifetime. In these moments, the church becomes someplace to find comfort."

And so it was, on Thursday morning, unable to bless them individually, or as a congregation, he took to the sky to bless the city.

Daniele's Diamond DA42 twin-engine turbo prop plane lifted off from the Rochester airport headed south, flew counter-clockwise around the community then zig-zagged across the city. Instead of climbing to a typical 6,000 to 8,000 feet, Daniele said, he got permission from Rochester air traffic control to fly low.

He would slow to 80 knots, or roughly 90 mph, Benitez would open the window and reach out one of the bottles of holy water he brought for the occasion. Then he would say a prayer "extended to everyone," Benitez said, "praying for the whole world and the whole country."

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My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me....That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
Stonewall Jackson