Priest blesses liquor store


ODESSA, Texas (FOX 24) – We often hear of priests blessing homes and businesses, but this type of blessing may surprise you.

It’s a unique blessing, the blessing of a new liquor store.  Gabby and Adrian Leyva recently opened Boom Town Beverages in Odessa.

Gabby Leyva, Boom Town Beverages Owner

“If there was a priest that wouldn’t bless it, then I definitely wouldn’t want to do this,” said Gabby, Boom Town Beverages Owner.  

Adrian Leyva, Boom Town Beverages Owner

“We prayed and prayed about this store,” said Adrian, Boom Town Beverages Owner. “That was our first thought when we opened the doors is we need to make sure that God is at that door welcoming people and saying goodbye.”

The couple’s close friend, Father Timothy Hayter, conducted the special ceremony.

“When there’s a house or a business or automobile, whatever it may be, they ask for God’s blessing, ” said Father Timothy Hayter, St. Ann’s Catholic Church.  “God to be a part of that, a part of that business to guide them, to protect them, help them.  They want his presence to be known.”

But they’re all aware of the downside to alcohol.

“Alcohol being used and then one driving, taking either their own life or other people’s lives,” said Father Hayter.

Father Timothy Hayter, St. Ann’s Catholic
Church in Midland

“It feels so good, it feels as if all things are aligned now,” said Gabby.  “I feel like this is exactly where we’re supposed to be.”

God and a liquor store may not sound like the ideal combination to some, but the Midland priest hopes this type of blessing may change that.

“They’re going to have people in here that are in bad places in their life and it’s an opportunity for them to be able to touch them in a good way through the things that they say,” said Father Hayter.

“If someone’s going to have a liquor store, I’d rather it be a good person, a person of faith that wants it to be used for the good, that’s not going to take advantage of people.”

Blessing of Boom Town Beverages in Odessa

The Leyva’s do know people who have struggled with alcoholism.  So, they just stress people drink in moderation.

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