Many Catholic celebrities and leaders responded to retired NBA player Kobe Bryant’s sudden death.
Most expressed their heartfelt condolences and lifted up prayers for the late retired player. Some figures included Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, Los Angeles Axillary Bishop Timothy Freyer, as well as actress Patricia Heaton, Mark Wahlberg, and a number of other Catholic leaders and celebrities.
Here’s some reactions below:
Catholic Hollywood actress Patricia Heaton wrote, “Special prayers at Mass today [for] the Bryant family and all the families affected by the crash.”
Heaton also tweeted a past NBA video, explaining that her youngest son “clearly remembers watching this game with his friends.”
Here’s Heaton’s additional tweet below:
My youngest son Dan sent this video and said he clearly remembers watching this game with his friends. One our fondest memories together was when I took him to Lakers game and he was able to watch Kobe play in person. My heart goes out to Kobe’s family in this time of loss. pic.twitter.com/tBiouVmf04
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) January 27, 2020
Her full tweet reads, “My youngest son Dan sent this video and said he clearly remembers watching this game with his friends. One our fondest memories together was when I took him to Lakers game and he was able to watch Kobe play in person. My heart goes out to Kobe’s family in this time of loss.”
Catholic Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg also responded to Bryant’s death.
Walberg’s Instagram post reads, “RIP🙏❤️🙏”.
Two bishops from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles responded to Bryant’s death. Bryant was a parishioner at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach, Cali.
Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez expressed his sadness after hearing the news.
Here’s his tweet below:
The bishop’s full tweet reads, “So very sad to hear the news of #KobeBryant’s tragic death this morning. I am praying for him and his family. May he rest in peace and may our Blessed Mother Mary bring comfort to his loved ones. #KobeBryantRIP”.
Diocese of Orange, Cali. Bishop Timothy Freyer also mourned Bryant’s death, saying that “our hearts remain heavy.”
Here’s Bishop Freyer’s post below:
Bishop Freyer’s full post reads, “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.
“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.”
Other notable figures responded to the tragedy, including Relevant Radio host Patrick Coffin, Catholic chastity speaker Jason Evert, pro-life advocate and Live Action founder Lila Rose, and Catholic speaker Sr. Miriam Heidland.
Patrick Coffin remembered Bryant in a Twitter post, saying he hopes a “priest celebrates the Mass of Resurrection” for Bryant.
Here’s Coffin’s tweet below:
Coffin tweeted, “I really REALLY hope an orthodox priest celebrates the Mass of Resurrection for #KobeBryant, who deserves a Justice Scalia type of send off by his son Father Paul. #FuneralAsActualGrace”.
Lila Rose considered the news about Bryant “so heartbreaking.”
Here’s her tweet below:
Rose’s full tweet reads, “So heartbreaking to hear the news about #KobeBryant and his daughter Gianna. His unmatched talent and drive inspired so many. May God comfort his beautiful family as they grieve this unspeakable loss and may father and daughter. Rest In Peace. 🙏”
Rose added another tweet saying, “heartbreaking news reminds me that none of us know how long we have on this earth.”
Rose’s full tweet reads, “Yesterday’s heartbreaking news reminds me that none of us know how long we have on this earth. None of us are promised tomorrow. But we are promised eternal life in God, with no more grief or pain, and that makes all the difference. Rest In Peace, Kobe and Gianna.”
Chastity speaker Jason Evert said Bryant’s ability to receive communion before his death was a “blessing,” but asked for prayers for his surviving family.
Here’s Evert’s post below:
What a blessing to know that Kobe woke up early on Sunday morning so that he could receive Holy Communion before the helicopter departed at 9:06AM. Let’s pray often for his family today, as they begin their new life without a father and husband. pic.twitter.com/HU90JnlhnL
— Jason Evert (@jasonevert) January 27, 2020
Evert’s full post reads, “What a blessing to know that Kobe woke up early on Sunday morning so that he could receive Holy Communion before the helicopter departed at 9:06AM. Let’s pray often for his family today, as they begin their new life without a father and husband.”
Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, also posted a moving statement regarding his death. She reminded her followers that “life is very fragile and days are not our own.”
Here’s Sister Miriam’s post below:
Sr. Miriam’s full post reads, “Life is very fragile and our days are not our own. / May Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and all those who pass away today Rest In Peace. / May God show them His deep and tender mercy and console the families who grieve.”