Bishop to bless pilots, planes


By Joshua Keeran - [email protected]



Pilot Jim Habermehl, left, took part in last year’s inaugural Blessing of the Aircraft at Grimes Field. Father Larry Gearhart, right, pastor of the four Catholic parishes in Champaign County, presided over the event.


Submitted photo

A high-ranking clergyman from the Catholic church will visit Grimes Field in Urbana on Sunday, Sept. 18, for an event honoring Saint Joseph of Cupertino, the patron saint of aviation.

The Most Rev. Joseph Binzer, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is scheduled to participate in the second annual Blessing of the Aircraft. Sponsored by the St. Mary’s Parish in Urbana, the event begins at 4 p.m. with the blessing ceremony set for 5 p.m.

“We, Grimes Field Urbana, are very blessed and honored to have Bishop Binzer coming, and we appreciate the sponsorship of St Mary’s Parish,” Grimes Field Manager Elton Cultice said. “All the pilots here are very excited to have the bishop coming up from Cincinnati.

“Attendance will depend on the weather, of course, but if it is nice flying weather, we should get some airplanes flying in,” he added.

Along with the blessing of the airplanes on site, pilots in attendance will receive a blessing during the event.

“The bishop will do a general group blessing from the podium then go to each airplane and pilot and do a personalized blessing and give them a sticker for their plane,” Cultice said.

With less than three months under his belt since taking over for former Airport Manager Lou Driever, who organized the first Blessing of Aircraft event last Sept. 18, Cultice is poised to make the most of the event.

“I look forward to sharing my love of aviation with the community, both through events such as this and on a day-to-day personal note,” he said. “This is another opportunity to bring people to the airport where they can see what goes on out here.

“Many people wrongly consider the airport a ‘rich man’s playground’ when in truth most pilots are just everyday people,” Cultice added.

Pilot Jim Habermehl, left, took part in last year’s inaugural Blessing of the Aircraft at Grimes Field. Father Larry Gearhart, right, pastor of the four Catholic parishes in Champaign County, presided over the event.
http://urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_Aircraft-Blessing.jpgPilot Jim Habermehl, left, took part in last year’s inaugural Blessing of the Aircraft at Grimes Field. Father Larry Gearhart, right, pastor of the four Catholic parishes in Champaign County, presided over the event. Submitted photo

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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