Kobe Bryant, a Discreet And Close Practicing Catholic

Since he retired in April 2016, Kobe Bryant has made several changes in his life, and one of them was to become a more earthly person and close to the community. He did it by letting himself be seen in the restaurants and coffee shops located near his office in Costa Mesa, California; also while training his daughter’s basketball team, Gianna, the ‘Lady Mambas’ and even when she went to church to pray on her own or attend mass. On Sunday, January 26, the day the helicopter accident occurred, Kobe entered the Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach, shortly before the seven o’clock ceremony, crossed himself with holy water and dedicated A few minutes to pray in front of the chapel. From there he went to the John Wayne airport to meet the rest of the helicopter passengers. That was his favorite temple and a week after the tragedy, the seven o’clock mass had a small memory for the families of all the disappeared, including a Bryant who was missed in a special way. “By Kobe and Gianna Bryant, for the Altobelli family and the rest of the dead, to rest in peace and their families find comfort; we pray to the Lord ”, added the parishioner who was in charge of reading the special prayers. Those phrases touched the hearts of all those present who, either, were habitual to go to that church and knew that Kobe was seen; or, they had arrived this morning from different parts of the city to pay their respects to the idol. For all of them, the Mass executed by the parish priest, Wilbur Davis, had a more special meaning than usual. Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach (Getty Images) More “It’s hard for us,” said Jerry Storm, one of the volunteers who are part of the temple’s religious community. “Kobe came last Sunday. He was a very committed Catholic and came whenever he could. When we learned of the accident, we were petrified. We could not believe it, ”he said respectfully but with some pride in having had such an illustrious devotee. He even confessed to us that the main pastor of the church, Steve Sallot, regularly goes to the Bryant’s family home to serve as support for Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, and her daughter Natalia. Kobe was a practicing Catholic and relied on God for much of his career. However, he rarely spoke about it in public, since it was something he preferred to keep for himself. The most extensive discussion on the matter was during an interview in the GQ magazine conducted in 2015, just before suffering a shoulder injury that ended his season and was a severe setback less than a year after leaving the courts another once because of a rupture in the Achilles tendon. His goodbye was close and the most thoughtful Kobe appeared on the scene. In that interview he talked about how his faith helped him deal with the most complicated moment of his life: the rape accusation he faced in 2003, when he had been married for two years, with a one-year-old daughter and his wife pregnant. In the documentary that Kobe created about himself, ‘Muse’, in 2016, the star confessed that his wife suffered an abortion because of the stress of the case that went around the world. “What helped me most during this process was to talk to a priest since I am a Catholic, I grew up Catholic and my children are Catholics,” he told the magazine. He confessed to his trusted pastor at the time and told him he was innocent of those accusations. The cleric’s response marked the future of Kobe. “Leave it now. Follow your road. God is not going to burden you with something you cannot control and now it is in your hands. This is something that is not under your control, so forget it, ”he recalled. Read more Kobe Bryant wall. (Getty Images) More During the last three years since his retirement, Kobe attended Mass very frequently. He did it discreetly. He agreed with the service already started and placed in the last row closest to the entrance of the church. His claim was to not divert attention from the rest of the parishioners, not to steal prominence from what he considered to be truly important: the connection with God. On leaving the ceremony this Sunday, in the church where Kobe always went alone or with his family, he talked a lot about him. How there were times that he was seen during the week, probably because there was less influx of parishioners, and even some people who had to endure their desire to approach him to respect him in a sacred place. There is a widespread sensation that is perceived both in the temple, and in the sports center that Kobe created in Thousand Oaks, Mamba Sports Academy, which is about 55 kilometers away from the church, and that is the winner of five rings NBA’s was very close and accessible with community members. He felt that he should return all the love that society had given him during his 20-year career at Los Angeles Lakers, and his main vision was to improve the future of women and to have the same opportunities as men. four daughters, and I want them to have the same chances of succeeding in life as men. It’s amazing to see how their self-confidence grows through sports, ”he said in his last interview, conducted a week before his death. That fateful day, before getting on the helicopter shortly before nine in the morning. Kobe had already spent time executing actions of three of his four passions. First he spent time with his family, then went to church and most likely, later, shared some impressions about the game he was going to lead in which his daughter and two of the accident victims were going to play. The other passion, that of creating didactic content and adapting the children’s books that he was writing to the audiovisual plane, was going to continue executing it from a Monday that never came for him. In the church they are aware that not only has a mass idol gone, but one more parishioner who shared his faith with others as any normal believer does. Kobe had his feet on the ground and those who crossed his path thanked him. More stories that may interest you:

READ MORE WAB NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE