This year's Blessing of the Fleet in Pass Christian started out a little differently for Father Christopher Colby. Instead of blessing by water, he was blessing on shore because he missed the blessing boat.
But thanks to Laura, Patrick and little Michael Burns, Father Colby was able to hitch a ride so he could sprinkle a few blessings on the 16 boats that participated in this year's event.
"We're glad he made it and that the taxi boat brought him aboard," says Father David Knight, Pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Long Beach.
The priests blessed both commercial fishing boats and recreational boats.
"The fishing community is very vibrant here, and fishing's a very dangerous occupation. It's one of the most dangerous occupations in America. We want to bless, and we want them to know they're in our prayers as they do their work," says Colby, Pastor of Trinity.
"With the recreational boats, we want to pray for their safety, and we want them to have a fun-filled summer as well," says Knight.
Those who came out agreed the day couldn't have been any better for a blessing.
"We prayed for good weather at the church this morning and it turned out beautifully," says Father Bartholomew Endslow from Our Mother of Mercy Church in Pass Christian.
"Last year, we only got to go out to the pier. But this year, we wanted to come back like Pass Christian always comes back. It's been a beautiful blessing," says Marjorie Schroeder, event organizer.
Whether watching the blessings by shore or receiving it on the water, the success of this year's event is just another sign of a city and coast getting the wind back in their sails.
The Blessing of the Fleet Committee would like to thank Walter Ketchings for the use of his boat for the blessing. The owners of Our Lady Gail walked away with the $500 prize for the best decorated boat. Blessing of the Fleet t-shirts were also sold to help raise money toward a $1,000 scholarship to a Pass Christian senior.