“All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.”

-James 1:17, New American Standard Bible

All good comes from above, as it was said in 1:17 of the Book of James. In this era in the history of Man, recent innovations in avionic technology has allowed men to fly to distant lands, at rates far greater than what was once feasible centuries ago. Granted, it is true that attempts were made during the early 20th century on the creation of VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft by Juan de La Cierva of Spain, with a successful first flight recorded in 1923. De La Cierva’s VTOL aircraft was known as a “Gyroplane.” (Scientists and Friends)

However, it was not until the Second World War, did VTOL aircraft finally appear into its modern-day incarnation. The Third German Reich was credited with the creation of what will later become the world’s first series production helicopters: the Flettner Fl 282. Designated as “Kolibri” (“Hummingbird”) by the German armed forces during the war, it was to be used primarily by the Luftwaffe for the purpose of “ferrying items between ships,” performing “reconnaissance” sorties, and later in the war, as flying spotters to allow artillery units to pinpoint targets of opportunity (WW2inColor).

Like the rest of the Wunderwaffen (“wonder weapons”) that were the product of German R&D efforts during the late phases of the war, even though the world’s first series production of VTOL helicopters were simply not enough in affecting the outcome of Germany’s defense against the invading Soviet and Allied armies. And like the vast majority of these Wunderwaffen, the Kolibri would go on to influence future generations of engineers and designers.

Seventy years after the end of the war, Catholic News Agency reported on a UH-60 Blackhawk (one of many helicopters that were based on the original German R&D), that was photographed in the skies above the Italian coastal town of Castellammare di Stabia. Flying on this Blackhawk was a Catholic priest, specially trained as an ordained exorcist, performs “an aerial exorcism” above Castellammare di Stabia. A town fraught with the effects brought on by the results of a Mafia presence, it was also recently hit hard by a rash of heinous acts, ranging from “thefts from churches, desecration of graves, crosses being turned upside down and statues of Mary being tossed over cliffs.” Its Catholic prayer group specifically requested this priestly exorcist to execute the deed across the entire town from the skies above. Their reasoning:

“If Satan exists, he has taken control of Castellammare di Stabia. There was nothing left but to try the exorcist.”

This article in question goes off on a digression, subsequently discussing about a similar effort, but across the entire country of Mexico, with the center of mass being the Cathedral within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Guadalajara, presided over by His Eminence, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez. But still, the overall point of the article is this:

“Every bishop is the chief exorcist of his own diocese. Anytime anyone with the authority uses his power against Satan, that is powerful. Every priest and bishop has that power.” (Catholic News Agency)

To be fair, an exorcism from the skies above is a much more important endeavor than a similar event that happened a few weeks ago in Ireland. Nevertheless, it ties in to the overall point of this blogpost. A few weeks ago, The Irish Catholic reported a certain Catholic priest by the name of Father John Cummins, an administrator at the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Irish Catholic Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, who was joined by three others parishioners, they devised a parish fundraiser that involved sky-driving out of a plane stationed at Clonbullogue Airfield. After garnering the necessary sponsorships from the rest of the congregation and several others, the four were able to collect at least an estimated €5,000. This in turn allowed the four to pursue the deed with excellent results. (The Irish Catholic)

In this age, this era, proper utilization of recent technological advances can potentially aid in the eternal struggle of the Church Militant for salvation and to spread the Good News. Done correctly, what took whole centuries and generations of people can now be done by today’s Church Militant within a much shorter period of time. The two preceding stories from the aforementioned Catholic news sources, in addition to background information on the origin of VTOL and the FL 282 Kolibri, displays a new, modern-day variation of what it means for all good things to come from above. While many of today’s young Catholics may not be able to sky-drive or even fly in a Blackhawk helicopter, the fact remains that these same young Catholics may one day have to utilize even more advanced technology to aid in their duties as the Church Militant, when the time comes for them to take the helm as the next laity, deacons, nuns, monks, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and even popes.

-J. Enriquez

Works Cited

“Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri.” WW2inColor. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Aug. 2015.

Gargan, Mags. “Skydiving Priest Raises Thousands for Parish.” Skydiving Priest Raises Thousands for Parish. The Irish Catholic, 23 July 2015. Web. 02 Aug. 2015.

“Help From Above: Priest in a Helicopter Exorcises Italian Town.” Catholic News Agency. Catholic News Agency, 31 July 2015. Web. 02 Aug. 2015.

“History of Helicopters.” Scientists and Friends. Scientists and Friends, 2007. Web. 02 Aug. 2015.