Kobe Bryant Prayed At Catholic Church Hours Before Helicopter Crash

Hours earlier than he died in a helicopter crash, NBA celebrity Kobe Bryant stopped by a Roman Catholic church to hope, church officers have confirmed.

Bryant, a lifelong Catholic, paid a go to to his house parish, Our Girl Queen of Angels in Newport Seashore, California, shortly earlier than Sunday’s 7 a.m. Mass, Rev. Steve Sallot instructed CBS Los Angeles. 

At round 9:45 a.m., Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and 7 others have been killed when the helicopter they have been touring on crashed right into a foggy hillside close to Calabasas.

Sallot mentioned he shook arms and chatted with Bryant for a couple of minutes that morning. They mentioned Bryant’s need to be confirmed, Sallot mentioned. Affirmation is a sacrament within the Catholic Church that affirms and deepens one’s Christian identification. 

Bryant didn’t keep for the morning service, the priest mentioned.

“I noticed that he had blessed himself as a result of there was slightly holy water on his brow,” Sallot instructed CBS Los Angeles. “So I knew that he’d gone into the chapel to hope and got here out and blessed himself. After which we spoke for a minute, shook arms, after which off he went.”

Sallot mentioned that Bryant and his household, who stay in Newport Seashore, incessantly attended providers at Our Girl Queen of Angels. 

“He was fairly a person of religion,” the priest mentioned. “Quiet about it, however definitely a person of religion.”

Orange County Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Freyer wrote in a Fb publish on Monday that Bryant was a “dedicated Catholic who cherished his household and cherished his religion.”

Freyer instructed Angelus Information, a web site run by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, that Bryant had a trick for attending providers with out inflicting a disturbance. In keeping with clergymen in Freyer’s diocese, the LA Lakers legend would wait till the doorway procession bought midway down the aisle earlier than sneaking into one of many again pews after which simply as quietly stroll out as Mass was ending, the bishop mentioned. 

“He wished individuals to give attention to Christ’s presence, not his presence,” mentioned Freyer.

FREDERIC J. BROWN by way of Getty Photographs

Kobe Bryant prayed at Our Girl Queen of Angels Catholic Church on the morning of his loss of life.

Investigators are taking a look at attainable causes for the lethal crash. Visibility was poor that morning due to heavy fog, The New York Occasions stories. The helicopter’s pilot reportedly instructed air site visitors controllers that he was climbing to keep away from a layer of clouds. It was the pilot’s final message. 

As a Black man, Bryant was a minority inside the broader American Catholic Church. Solely 3% of American Catholics determine as Black, in keeping with the Pew Analysis Heart.

Bryant obtained his first Holy Communion in Italy, the place he lived for a brief interval as a toddler. He married his spouse, Vanessa Bryant, on the St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Level, California. And his youthful daughters have been baptized at Our Girl Queen of Angels.

The basketball nice credited a Catholic priest with counseling him after a 19-year-old girl accused him of raping her at a Colorado lodge in 2003. 

Bryant was charged with felony sexual assault. Prosecutors dropped the prison case after the lady mentioned she was unwilling to testify. She and Bryant settled a civil case out of courtroom in 2005. The basketball star later issued an apology to the lady, acknowledging that whereas he had seen the encounter as consensual, she clearly didn’t.

In a 2015 interview with GQ, Bryant mentioned that speaking with a Catholic priest helped him throughout that point.

USA At this time Sports activities / Reuters

The Minnesota Timberwolves honor Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna earlier than a recreation on Jan. 27, 2020.

Our Girl Queen of Angels is planning a particular service in honor of Bryant, CBS Los Angeles stories.

A number of Catholic bishops from Southern California have been in Rome for a gathering with the pope on the time of the helicopter crash. On Tuesday, they gathered contained in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to hope for Bryant, his daughter, and the opposite victims.

“Might their souls and the souls of all of the devoted departed by way of the mercy of God relaxation in peace,” the bishops prayed.

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