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A blessed afternoon

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | May 24, 2022 1:07 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Father John Mosier is leaving St. Thomas Catholic Church, but before he goes, he’s got blessings to do.

Which is why the holy water was flying at St. Thomas Cemetery on Monday.

Statues were blessed.

The ground was blessed.

The buried were blessed.

“When we bless things, they don't emit some kind of holiness, but it reminds us of the sacredness of this place,” Mosier said. “And it's the hope we live in. We rise again through our faith.”

Mosier led about 20 people on short walks and stops for brief prayers at the cemetery on the east end of Sherman Avenue on a cloudy afternoon as rain began falling.

“I better do this before we all get a blessing,” he said, smiling as others laughed.

The cemetery will expand into the green space north of its fence along Sherman Avenue, about half an acre.

The church received the deed for the land Jan. 11 when it was determined the property belongs to it following a records search.

It will allow the 3-acre cemetery to have room for another 190 burial sites. It was down to just a few.

Mosier blessed the additional land, as well as a recently added statues depicting a Guardian Angel, Ave Maria and Jesus Christ.

“We're kind of incorporating them into this sacred space by acknowledging them and we bless them,” he said.

Melanie Simpson, a member of the cemetery committee, was glad to be part of it.

“A beautiful feeling, a feeling of grace, a feeling of love,” she said.

Mosier has been at St. Thomas for three years. He’s leaving at the end of June to lead St. Charles Borromeo church in Salmon.

Father Remigius Ihim from Boise is scheduled to come on board July 1.

"I'm sad to leave because I love these people. I love this," Mosier said. "I love all this stuff like this."

But he is also looking forward to leading another church and meeting followers of the Catholic faith.

"It’s a joy to be serving," he said.

photo

BILL BULEY/Press

A blessing ceremony is held at St. Thomas Cemetery on Monday.