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    Knights organize blessing from sky during COVID-19

    Knights from Connecticut and New Jersey fly over the Diocese of Bridgeport to bless community from the coronavirus pandemic.

    By Andrew Fowler 3/26/2020
    (Photo Courtesy of St. Theresa Church, Trumbull Conn.)

    Knights of Columbus members took to the skies to pray for the protection and healing of those in the Diocese of Bridgeport from the coronavirus pandemic. 

    The idea was hatched by Tom Monks, a member of St. Therese Lisieux Council 8013 in Trumbull, Conn., after his daughter Lydia showed him a video of an Italian priest piloting over Italy with the Blessed Sacrament. 

    He approached Father Brian Gannon, the pastor of St. Theresa Church and member of Council 8013, who loved the idea.

    “Having seen the wonderful video of an Italian priest flying with Our Lady of Fatima and the Blessed Sacrament over Italy for divine intervention there, we knew this was from the Holy Spirit,” Father Gannon wrote on the parish’s website.  

    The “Blessing of the Diocese of Bridgeport from the Air” is one of the many initiatives Knights of Columbus members are providing for their communities in spiritual and charitable ways. The Supreme Council also called for all Knights to pray a novena for protection in a time of pandemic. 

    Father Gannon, Father Bejan, John DeCasta and Kevin Bradberry — all members of the Knights of Columbus — fly over the Diocese of Bridgeport to pray for protection against the coronavirus.
    (Photo Courtesy of St. Theresa Church, Trumbull Conn.)

    Monks' son-in-law, John DeCastra — a Coast Guard pilot and a Knight from All Saints Council 6277 in Linwood, N.J. — agreed to fly the plane along with another pilot, Kevin Bradberry, a Knight from St. Joseph’s Council 10220 in Somers Point, N.J. They had done similar flights over Camden, N.J., and Harrisburg, Penn., for other priests.

    Grand Knight Mark A. Smith supported the initiative, with St. Therese Lisieux Council 8013 funding the trip.

    “Jesus Christ is our savior and God is looking out for us,” Smith said. “There will be times of trouble and sacrifice, but he’s always there with us. We need his protection and his support.”

    On Tuesday, March 24, Father Gannon and Father Flavian Bejan — the associate pastor of St. Theresa Church and member of Council 8013 as well — along with DeCastra and Bradberry made lift-off from Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, Conn., at around 11:00 a.m. During the flight, the priests recited the rosary, the Memorare to the Blessed Mother and prayed for protection against the virus.

    “Can you imagine the most precious cargo in existence is in my airplane? That number one is a huge honor,” Bradberry said. “It’s humbling and also really refreshing to see the enthusiasm and engagement on the positive side of Catholicism.”

    They flew for nearly an hour, covering the boundaries of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Fairfield County, while also encircling St. Theresa Church.

    “Father Flavian and I are eternally grateful to be instruments of Our Lady of Fatima and our Lord in the Eucharist to bring his supernatural grace and hope of healing to as many people as possible,” Father Gannon said. “God is always victorious.”

    St. Theresa Church taped the trip which can be viewed here, and Bradberry is offering his plane to serve other priests if they wish to conduct a similar mission.

     

    Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email knightline@kofc.org.

    Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.

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