Ad Spot

St. Paul pastor flies over city; asks God’s blessing on city

MOUND, La. — Thursday afternoon, the city of Vicksburg received a blessing from above.

About 2:30 pm. Thursday, the Rev. Rusty Vincent, pastor of St. Paul Catholic Church, took to the skies in an open seat biplane piloted by Dan Fordice to spread holy water over the city in a blessing to help the city.

Vincent said he got the idea from parishioner Charles Hahn, who read about some priests in the north who flew over cities and prayed for God’s blessing on the community.

“He thought it was a good idea, he recommended it to me, and I thought it was a good idea, too.

“I’ll say a prayer, a blessing over the city, and then I’ll pour some holy water over the city as a blessing over it, and say a prayer for God’s blessing over the city in defense of the virus and protection and guidance over everyone in the city,” Vincent said.

Vincent and Fordice flew from the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport in a twin-seat WACO biplane owned by the Southern Heritage Air Foundation. The holy water was sprinkled using a funnel and a long plastic tube.

Hahn said he got the idea for the flyover after reading an article in the Knights of Columbus publication “Knightline.”

According to the article, the Rev. Brian Gannon, the pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Bridgeport, Conn., and an associate pastor on March 24 flew over their city. During the flight, the priests recited the rosary, the Memorare to the Blessed Mother and prayed for protection against the virus.

“I thought it was a good idea,” Hahn said. “I sent an email to Dan and Father Rusty, and the next day, Dan said, ‘I’m up for it.’ When I got Father Rusty, he said, ‘I’m willing.’

“The next thing was finding the date, and this (Thursday) turned out to be the best date.”

Southern Heritage Air Foundation president Patty Mekus notified several St. Paul parishioners about the flyover, which produced some immediate responses after people saw the plane.

“Patty, just saw the plane!!” Vicksburg resident Cathy Blanche texted Mekus, who watched Fordice and Vincent take off.

“Tell Dan thank you for doing this for our city.  I had such a feeling of calmness as I watched it fly over. Father Rusty shows such loving feelings for his community.

“(I) hope God hears our prayers and helps us keep each other safe and well,” Blanche wrote.

“We spotted Father Rusty!! So cool! Thanks to all involved!!” Laura Blackledge Kidder wrote.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John

Crime

Flaggs proposes plan that would allow LD’s to reopen

Crime

Crime reports: Convicted felon throws handgun from car as officers approached

Local

More repairs required at site of large sinkhole created by leaking water line

Local

Alcorn State University announces commencement ceremonies 

Local

Retired Hinds president to receive inaugural Hall of Fame award Thursday

Local

Fallout continues from Harper’s on-again, off-again resignation

COVID-19

State will not report COVID-19 cases until Monday

Business

Entrepreneurs: Vicksburg has been the perfect environment to start a business

Local

Couple leaves no (head)stone unturned in decorating for Halloween

COVID-19

Recent wave in local COVID-19 cases leveling off

Health

Flu vaccinations now available at county health department

Local

City expected to award pickleball court contract after bids opened

Local

School district’s bus drivers promote safety throughout year

Business

Downtown Vicksburg’s culinary scene set to welcome Relish

Local

VPD to participate in drug take-back program

Local

MDA supports Vicksburg Forest Products’ expansion with $300K grant

Business

ERDCWERX strengthens capabilities with new team members

Local

City honors fire department personnel for reaching career milestones

Local

Portion of county road closed after sinkhole develops

Crime

Infant removed from Monroe, La. hospital late Thursday

Downtown Vicksburg

Adolph Rose Antiques to close; building to be sold

Faith

Church of the Holy Trinity to continue annual turkey dinner

Health

Sheriff’s Office to take outdated prescription drugs Saturday

Business

Southwest Airlines returning to Jackson in 2021