US & Canada

Plane in US sprinkles 100 gallons of holy water

Parishioners of Cow Island in Louisiana before holy water is sprayed from a plane, 24 Dec 2019 Image copyright Diocese of Lafayette
Image caption Parishioners brought water to be blessed before the flight

A US Roman Catholic church in south-western Louisiana has come up with a novel way of blessing its parish.

Rev Matthew Barzare of St Anne Church in the rural community of Cow Island took up the suggestion of a parishioner to spray 100 gallons (378 litres) of holy water from a plane.

His parish is spread over a wide area so Rev Barzare decided a crop dusting plane would be a quick solution.

There are plans to make it an annual event using 300 gallons.

Image copyright Diocese of Lafayette
Image caption The Rev Matthew Barzare reads from the Bible before take-off

The water was sprayed onto the town and surrounding farms in the run-up to Christmas, the Diocese of Lafayette said. The idea came from parishioner L'Eryn Detraz, a resident of Cow Island currently working as a missionary in Ohio.

There is a tradition of blessing the fields and the local community, especially around harvest times, the Rev Barzare told NPR radio. Church-goers carried water to a local airstrip where it was blessed before being loaded onto the aircraft.

Image copyright Diocese of Lafayette
Image caption The pilot readies his plane

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