While many people will remember lost love ones and friends this Memorial Day, one community is remembering their lost church. The Saint Mary’s catholic church in the “Little Ireland” community in Green County in central Iowa closed 50 years ago. Former parishioner Mary Richards says they’re holding a mass at the church cemetery today to remember the church located near the tiny town of Jamaica. She says they’ll have the American Legion Post from Jamaica present a veterans memorial and then will hold the mass. She says Father Bill Brunner will bless the soil from area farms. Richards says Father Brunner and his brother also collected wood from area barns. She says they’ve made crosses out of the wood and will present each of the original 18 families of the church with a cross made of the barn wood. Richards says the church still holds great importance to the people who worshipped there.She says, “Out here in rural life, our churches are closing. And this is about our spiritual life, it is about our reverence for out families who came top this area in the 1800’s.” She says it’s a way to say thank-you to those families and to say their faith will go on. Richards says the feelings still run deep for the church after 50 years. She says people remember the church that could be seen for miles. She says she had security as a child seeing the church on the hill. The mass begins today at 10 A.M. and Richards says you don’t have to be a part of the community to take part.
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