REPORT: “Committed Catholic” Kobe and Daughter Gianna Attended Church Before Fatal Crash

A new report from DailyMail reveals that Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna attended church before their fatal helicopter crash.

In a heartfelt and emotional Facebook post, Bishop Timothy Freyer called Kobe a “committed catholic who loved his family and loved his faith.”

Bishop Freyer wrote:

Our hearts remain heavy after the tragic loss suffered in the wake of yesterday’s helicopter crash in Calabasas.

We pray and mourn for the friends and family of the victims who have been publicly identified in news reports:

Basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa.

Basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Kobe was an icon who inspired us through his words and actions to set our goals, work hard and achieve our dreams. He was a committed Catholic who loved his family and loved his faith. A longtime Orange County resident and parishioner in our Diocese, Kobe would frequently attend Mass and sit in the back of the church so that his presence would not distract people from focusing on Christ’s Presence.

Please join me in praying for the victims. May God grant their loved ones peace and bring them comfort during these difficult times.

Dailymail reports Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi prayed together at Catholic mass at their local church hours before they both died in the tragic helicopter crash, DailyMail.com can reveal.

The basketball legend and 13-year-old Gigi went to the 7am service at the Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach. They both received Communion.

The father and daughter left the church and soon afterwards boarded the S-76 Sikorsky helicopter piloted by Ara Zobyan which was taking them to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for Gigi’s basketball practice.

The helicopter crashed into a hillside near Calabasas around 9.30am, firefighters responded to a 911 call at 9.47am. Nine people perished on board.

A spokesman for Our Lady Queen of Angels confirmed to DailyMail.com that Kobe was at the early morning service Sunday.

One parishioner, who attended a later mass at the church, wrote on social media: ‘During mass, our priest informed us all that Kobe Bryant and his daughter attended mass this morning at the Our Lady Queen of Angels.’

And Father David Barnes, a Catholic priest in Boston, Massachusetts also confirmed Kobe’s attendance.

He tweeted on Sunday: ‘A friend texted me today to tell me that a friend of her’s (sic) saw #KobeBryant at #Catholic Mass this morning. ‘Mass is the worship of God. Heaven is the worship of God. Go to Mass here so that you can worship God forever in heaven.’

In a moving Facebook post Bishop Timothy Freyer, of the Orange Diocese, who is currently in Rome meeting the Pope, said Kobe was a ‘committed Catholic’ who ‘loved his faith’.

He said: ‘Our hearts remain heavy after the tragic loss suffered in the wake of yesterday’s helicopter crash in Calabasas.

‘We pray and mourn for the friends and family of the victims who have been publicly identified in news reports: Basketball icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

‘Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa.

‘Basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

‘Kobe was a basketball icon who inspired us through his words and actions to set our goals, work hard and achieve our dreams.

‘He was a committed Catholic who loved his family and loved his faith.

Read more here.