Prayer One: Praying high from the friendly skies

Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it’s Prayer One!

Prayer One is a ministry started by pilot Jeff Puckett and Christian pastor Tom Melton of Greenwood Community Church. It all started fourteen years ago, when Jeff Puckett was sitting on a beach in the Bahamas with some buddies, pondering what they could ask God for.

“I came up with question, selfishly, of asking God for a helicopter,” Puckett said.

Now, Puckett uses his helicopter, called Prayer One, to fly people in Christian ministry around the skies of Denver with a few goals in mind: to allow ministry workers to take a breath after a weekend full of giving of themselves at church, to connect churches that wouldn’t necessarily have connected otherwise and to pray over the city of Denver.

On Oct. 25, Puckett was able to fulfill a long time dream of his by landing in the center of the Stations of the Cross at the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization in Denver. The sidewalk surrounding the Stations forms an Ichthys, more commonly known as the Jesus fish, and after flying over it for years, he wanted to land the helicopter in the center and get a picture from the top down to use as the new logo for Prayer One.

“I wanted a picture of the helicopter straight down with the fish because that’s what it’s about,” he said.

Throughout the afternoon, Puckett was kind enough to take seminarians, clergy, chancery employees and even Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez up into the skies to enjoy a short helicopter ride and pray over the city of Denver.

“It was wonderful,” Bishop-elect Rodriguez said.

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Prayer One pilot and owner Jeff Puckett takes priests, deacons, seminarians and other archdiocese personnel on a tour around Denver to bless the city on October 25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Prayer One pilot and owner Jeff Puckett takes priests, deacons, seminarians and other archdiocese personnel on a tour around Denver to bless the city on October 25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Prayer One pilot and owner Jeff Puckett gives an introductory speech before taking priests, deacons, seminarians and other archdiocese personnel on a tour around Denver to bless the city on October 25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Prayer One pilot and owner Jeff Puckett gives an introductory speech before taking priests, deacons, seminarians and other archdiocese personnel on a tour around Denver to bless the city. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Fr. Jorge Rodriguez, left, offers a prayer before embarking on a tour around Denver to bless the city aboard the Prayer One helicopter on October 25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez, left, offers a prayer before embarking on a tour around Denver to bless the city aboard the Prayer One helicopter. He prayed a for safety and a blessing over Puckett’s ministry. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Sister Francisca Igweilo smiles as she prepares to take off in Prayer One.

Sister Francisca Igweilo smiles as she prepares to take off aboard the Prayer One helicopter. (Photo by Andrew Wright/Denver Catholic)

Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez prepares to take off in the Prayer One helicopter on Oct. 25, when pilot Jeff Puckett landed on the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization campus and flew archdiocese personnel around Denver as part of his ministry.

Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez puts his headphones on and prepares to take off in the Prayer One helicopter. (Photo by Andrew Wright/Denver Catholic)

An aerial view of Downtown Denver from Prayer One, including the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception near the center.

An aerial view of Downtown Denver from Prayer One, including the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception near the center. (Photo by Brett Bussen/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Denver comes into view aboard Prayer One as pilot and owner Jeff Puckett takes priests, deacons, seminarians and other archdiocese personnel on a tour around Denver to bless the city on October 25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Denver comes into view aboard Prayer One as pilot and owner Jeff Puckett takes priests, deacons, seminarians and other archdiocese personnel on a tour around Denver. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

An aerial view of Sports Authority Field from Prayer One.

An aerial view of Sports Authority Field from Prayer One. (Photo by Brett Bussen/Denver Catholic)

An aerial view of the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization. Towards the upper left is the sidewalk surrounding the Stations of the Cross, in the shape of the Ichthys, or Jesus Fish.

An aerial view of the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization. Towards the upper left is the sidewalk surrounding the Stations of the Cross, in the shape of the Ichthys, or Jesus Fish. (Photo by Brett Bussen/Denver Catholic)

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Fr. Emilio Franchomme, right, watches as Prayer One pilot and owner Jeff Puckett takes off from the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization for a tour around Denver to bless the city on October 25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

Father Emilio Franchomme, right, watches as Prayer One pilot and owner Jeff Puckett takes off from the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization for a tour around Denver to bless the city. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Denver Catholic)

COMING UP: Colorado bishops issue letter on the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life Congressional policies

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We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, urge Congressional Representatives to support the Hyde Amendment and the Walden Amendment. We also ask the Faithful to sign The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) petition to lawmakers encouraging them to preserve the Hyde Amendment, which can be accessed at: NoTaxpayerAbortion.com, and to contact their Congressmen and women to support the Hyde and Walden amendments.

The House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee recently passed a spending bill that strips protections for pre-born children, healthcare providers,and American taxpayers by excluding pro-life provisions, including the Hyde and Weldon amendments.

The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion in most cases, except for rape and incest, has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1976 – including by pro-abortion administrations. Hyde is critical in saving lives. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that approximately 60,000 pre-born babies are saved every year because of the Hyde Amendment.[1] This is the first time in 40 years that the Hyde Amendment was not included in the annual appropriations bill[2] and failure to include pro-life amendments will only further increase divisions in our country.

The Weldon Amendment prevents any federal programs, agencies, and state and local governments from discriminating against health care practitioners and institutions that do not provide abortion services. It ensures that pro-life individuals and organizations can enter the health care profession without fearing that the government will force them to perform a procedure that violates their well-founded convictions. It has also received bipartisan support and was added to the appropriations bill every year since it was first enacted in 2005. [3]

Congress’ recent actions endanger the lives of pre-born children and infringe on the rights of millions of Americans who do not wish to participate in the moral evil of abortion. A recent Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions[4] and a 2019 Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in a few circumstances.[5]

The government should neither use taxpayer funds for the killing of pre-born children nor compel medical practitioners and institutions to violate their well-founded convictions. Congress must uphold these long-standing, common-sense bipartisan policies that promote a culture of life in our nation.

Human reason and science affirm that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to every human person. There has never been and never will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.

It is critical that Congress continue its long-history of supporting policies such as the Hyde and Walden amendments, and that all Colorado Catholics and people of good will make their voice heard in supporting these life-affirming policies.

Sign the petition to Congress here: www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com

Contact your Congressional Representatives here: https://cocatholicconference.org/news/

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver