Plane in US sprinkles 100 gallons of holy water

image copyrightDiocese of Lafayette
image captionParishioners 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 copyrightDiocese of Lafayette
image captionThe 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 copyrightDiocese of Lafayette
image captionThe pilot readies his plane

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